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Don’t allow red-tagging to cower us into silence—solon

A youth partylist representative urged the youth on Friday, July 16 not to allow red-tagging to cower them into silence.

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Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago emphasized how dissenters experienced harassment due to red-tagging | Screen grabbed from Rappler’s webinar.

A youth partylist representative urged the youth on Friday, July 16 not to allow red-tagging to cower them into silence.

“Kaya ang aming panawagan, let us not allow red-tagging and other attacks to cower us into silence, let us not let red-tagging take away our stories of hope, struggle and victory,” Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago said in a webinar. 

She also emphasized that the widespread human rights violations and the worsening climate of impunity and red-tagging in the country continue to threaten the lives of targeted individuals especially the youth due to the Anti-Terror Law. 

“We [youth partylist] are accused of being communist armed rebel fronts, we are labeled as terrorists, and portrayed as threats to national security,” she said.

Elago referred to a red-tagging incident from the fabricated images  that circulated online. 

(LOOK: A fabricated photo showing Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago is charged with rebellion.)

“Hindi lang po character assasination ang epekto, it’s a virtual hit list considering how red-tagging led to harassment, intimidation and worse, kilings,” she added.

In March, nine activists were killed in Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon (CALABARZON) whose groups are being red-tagged by President Duterte, this happening has been called the “bloody sunday.”

Suppression of critical voices

Elago said that while the youth continues to be vocal about societal issues they have also become the primary victims of red-tagging.

Last March, Tinig ng Plaridel, the official student publication of University of The Philippines College of Mass Communication, reported death threats and accusations it received from suspected troll accounts as a warning to stop critical reportage.

“The harassment that we face as representatives are also faced by outspoken youth, students, human rights defenders, journalists, and other pro-democracy and political activists,” Elago said.

She also mentioned that these red-tagging and other attacks are “part of a broader attempt to silence all critical voices that demand accountability.”

The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 was signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte on July 3, 2020, replacing the Human Security Act of 2007. Related: Bishop Pabillo urges Supreme Court to junk Anti-Terrorism Law. With reports from Ian Patrick Laqui

READ  Persecution, not activism, besets student leaders

(ALSO READ: Red-tagging is libel masked with death,Persecution, not activism, besets student leaders.)

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‘Driven, hardworking leader’: Ex-SOCC VP dies at 23

Aldaba was a known student-leader since his senior high school years in the University. He was the Interim Executive Vice President of the Student Organizations Coordinating Council (SOCC) in the previous academic year.

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Photo courtesy of Francis Oliver Aldaba

Francis Justine Aldaba, a fourth-year student from the College of Education, passed away on Friday, Jan. 14, after succumbing to acute respiratory failure. He was 23.

He died at Premiere Medical Center in Nueva Ecija at exactly 9:50 in the morning, his brother Francis Oliver Aldaba told TomasinoWeb

Aldaba was a known student-leader since his senior high school years in the University where he took up Health Allied as his strand. His involvement started as the Executive Assistant to the Chief-of-Staff in the Central Student Council.

He was the Interim Executive Vice President of the Student Organizations Coordinating Council (SOCC) in the previous academic year. Prior to this, he was also the Executive Associate to the SOCC Executive Vice President.

Describing Aldaba, Rome Voltaire Gomez, former interim president and chief executive officer of SOCC, told TomasinoWeb he was “a visionary, driven, and hardworking leader.” 

“Justine was a great help to SOCC in assisting grievances of recognized Student Organizations,” he said.

Gomez, in a social media post, said: “Justine was family to the CSC/SOCC family and me. He was a strong person and a kind soul.”

“We ask for your prayers in this time for him and his family. We will certainly miss him, and in all things, we will fondly remember him. Our family may never be complete again for now, but we will always be one in spirit,” he added.

The funeral service is currently held at Funeraria Corone Memorial Chapel, T. Delos Santos, Science City of Muñoz. The internment details are yet to be announced.

Paolo Alejandrino
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National Artist F. Sionil José dies at 97

The poet was one of the most widely read Filipino authors in the English language, with works that have been translated into 28 different languages.

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Photo courtesy of People Asia

National Artist for Literature F. Sionil José passed away on Thursday night, Jan. 6, at the age of 97.

The poet died in his sleep at the Makati Medical Center where he was confined earlier for a scheduled angioplasty, according to his wife, Tessie Jovellanos José.

Hours before his death, José wrote a letter for his “brave heart.” A letter which now constitutes his final words. 

“Thank you brave heart. There are times when as an agnostic I doubt the presence of an almighty and loving God. But dear brave heart you are here to disprove this illusion, to do away with the conclusion that if you doubt Him, you kill Him. I cannot kill you dear heart; you have to do that yourself,” José wrote in a Facebook post

“For 97 years you have been constantly working patiently pumping much more efficiently and longer than most machines. Of course, I know that a book lasts long too, as the libraries have shown, books that have lived more than 300 years. Now, that I am here in waiting for an angioplasty, I hope that you will survive it and I with it, so that I will be able to continue what I have been doing with so much energy that only you have been able to give. Thank you dear brave heart and dear Lord for this most precious gift,” he added.

Before becoming a National Artist, José studied Litt. B. Journalism at the old Faculty of Philosophy and Letters of the University. 

He also became the editor-in-chief of The Varsitarian in 1948 and 1949.  

José earned five Carlos Palanca awards throughout his writing career.

The poet was one of the most widely read Filipino authors in the English language, with works that have been translated into 28 different languages.

He also received recognition from award-giving bodies, which include the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1980, Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Centennial Award in 1999, as well as the Pablo Neruda Centennial Award in Chile in 2004.

In his later years, José made headlines because of his support for President Rodrigo Duterte and the ABS-CBN shutdown.

He was also remembered to have criticized Maria Ressa for winning the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize saying that the Rappler chief did not deserve the award and there were no threats on press freedom because the “Philippine press is alive and well.” 

José was named National Artist for Literature in 2001 because of his great contribution to Philippine literature. 

The details of the National Artist’s wake is yet to be announced.

Justine Xyrah Rennzel Garcia
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UST slips in December 2021 CPA licensure exams

40 out of 102 Thomasians passed the December 2021 Certified Public Accountant Licensure Exam, posting a 39.22 percent passing rate. 

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The University recorded a 39.22 percent passing rate in the December 2021 Certified Public Accountant Licensure Exam (CPALE) where 40 out of 102 Thomasians passed. 

This was lower than the University’s 57.69 percent passing rate last October where 15 out of 26 Thomasians qualified.

In an announcement by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) on Wednesday, Dec. 29, 318 out of 1, 454 or 21.87 percent of examinees from Metro Manila passed.

PRC also did not release any list of topnotchers and top-performing schools, which means that no examinees or schools qualified.

The CPALE in Metro Manila was rescheduled from October to December due to the extension of General Community Quarantine Alert Level 4 in the region. Meanwhile, the October 2021 CPALE was conducted for the examinees outside Metro Manila.

Justine Xyrah Rennzel Garcia
Reports Writer | + posts

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