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‘Campus militarization brings back ML horrors, to sow fear among students’ — Martial Law victim

Former political prisoner and Martial Law victim Hilda Narciso aired her concerns regarding the supposed plan of heightened military presence in campuses as it “brings back horrors from the past, and will sow terror and fear among students.” 

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Photo by Audrice Serrano

Former political prisoner and Martial Law victim Hilda Narciso aired her concerns regarding the supposed plan of heightened military presence in campuses as it “brings back horrors from the past, and will sow terror and fear among students.” 

At the Francisco De Vitoria: Linggo ng Karapatang Pantao Talakayang Martial Law forum spearheaded by UST-Simbahayan last Friday, September 20, Narciso pointed out that there is no need for the imposition of campus militarization. 

“When the government is the one telling this, that is already martial law, an undeclared nationwide Martial Law. Why would you push if there is no threat? Bakit i-impose sa lahat ng eskwelahan?” Narciso stated. 

She continued in an ambush interview with TomasinoWeb: “This (campus militarization) will be prone to many abuses, it will bring horrors from the past […] It will only sow terror and fear among students.”

Narciso, who experienced sexual abuse and molestation from military men during Martial Law, also expressed her concern on red-tagging. 

“Kung mag-tag sila iniisa na nila lahat kahit na aktibista, binabrand agad nila bilang mga komunista, o drug addict,” Narciso said. 

On historical revisionism

Narciso also shared and mentioned the atrocities she herself experienced during Martial Law era. 

“Hindi biro ang usapin [ng Martial Law]. Napakaraming mga namatay. Grabe ang ginawa ng mga Marcos. May mga nilitson na tao, minassacre, maraming mga pinaslang,” she stated. 

Narciso further added: “Nakakalungkot at nakakagalit bilang nakaranas ng atrocities at karahasan ng Martial Law, pero dahil sa kawalan ng kaalaman ng mga henerasyon. Bakit ni-rerevise? Ang hirap tanggapin na may attempt ng revisionism.”

Moreover, she encouraged the younger generation to “pass [the torch] onto the next generation.”

“Palagi kong sinasabi: ‘I’m bringing the torch with me, and I want to pass it onto you. And pass it onto the next generation, and don’t allow the flame to be lost’” Narciso urged. 

 

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Students not ready for self-directed learning—EdTech director

Students “may not be really ready” for self-direction and learning independence without “prodding from the teachers,” the University’s Educational Technology Center (EdTech) director said yesterday, June 27.

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Screengrab from the Learning in Focus webinar

Students “may not be really ready” for self-direction and learning independence without “prodding from the teachers,” the University’s Educational Technology Center (EdTech) director said yesterday, June 26.

“With or without pandemic, no single tool really and no amount of technology would be the solution to all our instructional problems,” Asst. Prof. Anna Cherylle Ramos, president of Philippine e-Learning Society, said during a webinar about shifting from classroom to online term.

Virtual monitoring sessions and centralized e-learning support unit, according to Ramos, was provided by the University to the teachers for the implementation of an online learning system.

“For the context of the University of Santo Tomas that has been using online technology for almost 20 years since 2002, we had the edge of implementing our continuity plan for teaching and learning right away after the declaration of the lockdown,” she said.

Ramos mentioned that in a survey conducted by the University, 98-percent of the faculty and 94-percent of the students have no stable internet connection.

“Out of our survey, we were able to locate the students with no internet connection and with our partnership with major telecom companies who were able to deliver the devices and the pocket wifi devices, so that they are able to finish the semester,” she said.

“I guess for me, COVID-19 also provided some positive contribution because it has unleashed a revolution in our education,” Ramos said.

Challenges ‘more psychological’

The bigger challenge in taking the education online, according to De La Salle Lipa College of Information and Engineering Dean Jorge Bacobo, is more psychological than technical.

“Those [technological problems], we know what the solutions are,” Bacobo said. “It’s getting the people who are involved for example in our schools, teachers, parents, administrators, to adjust to a revolution that’s forced [on] us by pandemic.”

“It’s really the evolution of people and how they have to change their relationships with each other in order to address the new needs of a new normal,” he added.

Bacobo emphasized that the pandemic changing the whole world challenged more the relationship between the students and the teachers and between the teachers and their teaching platform.

“Teachers suddenly realized they’re not anymore the sages on the stages. They’re now set aside. They’re more like guides on the side…They are no longer the medium of instruction,” he said.

Bacobo explained that the digital infrastructure has become the new medium and the teacher’s “avatar” or representative.

Department of Education Undersecretary Nepo Malaluan also said that online learning is “a very potent tool.”

“When we talk about the learning continuity in this time of COVID and doing distance learning, online learning is only one of the modalities,” he said. 

“Our viewers and our parents and learners and the public and sometimes even policy makers equate distance learning with the online learning platform,” he added. 

Technological challenges of online learning, according to Malaluan, are the capacity of teachers in delivery of large-scale online learning, conversion of classroom-based learning resources to distance learning resources, and the cost of online learning to the students.

Ramos urged the students that despite the teachers being “converted into text,” students should be more understanding as the issue of bandwidth impedes the online availability of the teachers.

“Online technology or online instructions would just be one of the many things we can do to be able to deliver that content,” Ramos said. “[Students] must realize that while we are doing something like this, we still have your teaching presence.”

“The learning activities themselves and the step by step procedure being given by the teachers is in fact the teaching presence themselves. There should be that understanding on both parties,” she said.

The webinar, “Learning in Focus,” was organized by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Inq To be You, and INQUIRER.net.

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CSC decries ‘unlawful arrest’ of ‘Pride 20’

The University Central Student Council (CSC) condemned the “violent and unlawful” arrest of 20 protestors who participated in the Pride March held in front of Mendiola Peace Arch, Friday morning, June 26. 

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Carmina Beatriz Dizon/TomasinoWeb

The University Central Student Council (CSC) condemned the “violent and unlawful” arrest of 20 protestors who participated in the Pride March held in front of Mendiola Peace Arch, Friday morning, June 26. 

“[It] is a clear abuse of undignifying power against our LGBTQIA+ brothers and sisters,” CSC’s statement read.

The protestors who were arrested called to junk the controversial Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, which is set to lapse into law on July 9. 

Different progressive groups who joined the rally were dispersed by the police, despite observing health protocols such as physical distancing and wearing of face masks.

“Our expression of dissent will never be an act of terrorism. Pride is a protest. #FreePride20!” CSC said. 

According to reports and posts circulating online, several police were seen “hijacking” one of the demonstrators’ private vehicles to bring them to the police station. 

The police nabbed 20 people, 10 of which are members of Bahaghari including its spokesperson Rey Valmores-Salinas, eight members of Gabriela, and two drivers.

Salinas took to Twitter to express her concern on their arrest: “Hinuli man kami ngayon, walang pandemiya, walang lockdown, at mas lalong walang mga pasistang baboy ang makapipigil ng pagsinag ng Bahaghari. #SulongWagPatinag.” 

#FreePride20

The arrested protestors were not informed of their violations and were not read of their Miranda rights, which angered the netizens.

The #FreePride20 trended on Twitter as netizens called for the immediate release of the ‘Pride 20,’ which were currently detained at the Manila Police District headquarters.

Miss Universe 2019 Catriona Gray as well as groups such as Gabriela Women’s Party, Bahaghari, and Metro Manila Pride also condemned the arrest. 

Three minors were already released, but the remaining are set to spend the weekend in detention as inquest proceedings resume on Monday.

The Metro Manila Pride March was originally set on June 27. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the event was cancelled and will be held via virtual gathering instead. 

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Equality fight ‘far from over’—LGBT rights advocates

Equal rights advocates urged the LGBTQ+ community and allies to amplify the ongoing fight for equality during a webinar on gender-based violence last Wednesday, June 24. 

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Screengrab from the KAAKIBAT: Webinar on Gender-based Discrimination & Harassment and Laws for Gender Equality webinar

Equal rights advocates urged the LGBTQ+ community and allies to amplify the ongoing fight for equality during a webinar on gender-based violence last Wednesday, June 24. 

Advocates said that the fight “is far from over” as it is more than just lobbying for policies against gender-based discrimination and violence. 

Philippine Anti-Discrimination Alliance of Youth Leaders co-convenor Jael Gonzales talked about the salient points and provisions of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Expression (SOGIE) Equality Bills filed in the Senate and Congress.

Gonzales stated that it is important that the country’s law acknowledges SOGIE in order to fully implement and cover the whole base of the spectrum.

“Our laws don’t recognize SOGIE and if they don’t recognize SOGIE, they cannot penalize SOGIE based violence and discrimination,” he said. 

Among the provisions included were profiling, discriminatory practice of employers, admittance policies of academic institutions, and hate crimes.

Different versions of the SOGIE Equality Bill, also known as the Anti-Discrimination Bill, have been filed in congress since the year 2000. 

It is considered to be the one of the longest bills lobbied in the congress, and it has been refiled for the 18th congress by Senator Risa Hontiveros.

On educating the mass

Award-winning filmmaker Cha Roque put forward her advocacy in destigmatizing the notions of the mass towards the LGBTQ+ community through creating films that “inform, challenge, and mobilize” audiences to manifest safe spaces for all. 

Gender-based discrimination, according to Roque, started through micro-aggressions coated in homophobic statements, which were often unnoticed. 

“These remarks…aakalain mo silang simple opinions [and] statements pero they’re very dangerous especially when it comes from people with power and platform and has the capacity to influence,” she said.

Roque stressed not to take these statements lightly. 

“It normalizes gender-based discrimination… [at] hindi lang ito ang mga nangyayari. Hindi lang sa public office, [kung hindi] pati sa iba’t-ibang institutions like schools.  It incites a culture of hate—a culture of violence,” she said. 

Roque reminded everyone that simply calling out and educating friends, in whatever capacity and platform, will “go a long way” in breaking stereotypes and fighting for equal rights. 

“Talagang nakakatulong sya. Hindi in a sense sa grand scheme of things like passing laws ganyan, pero kailangan pa rin,” she said.

The webinar, “KAAKIBAT: Webinar on Gender-based Discrimination & Harassment and Laws for Gender Equality,was hosted and organized by the Tiger Committee in partnership with Benilde Hive, The Initiative PH, PLM Propaganda, KASARIANLAN, and PNU Katalonan. Paolo Alejandrino

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