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“Kantahan sa Lansangan”: Thomasians organize benefit street gig for farmers

Progressive Thomasian students held a street performance event in commemoration of Peasant’s Month echoing the demand for better policies and the call to end the killing of farmers, Thursday, Oct. 17.

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Photo by Jacqueline Martinez/TomasinoWeb

Progressive Thomasian students held a street performance event in commemoration of Peasant’s Month echoing the demand for better policies and the call to end the killing of farmers, Thursday, Oct. 17.

The event “Kantahan sa Lansangan” was spearheaded by Anakbayan-UST to gather funds to aid farmers and be able to register the call by featuring spoken open mic performances and busking. 

Angelo del Rosario of Anakbayan-UST highlighted the benefit gig’s role in joining the plight of farmers in registering and asserting their rights. 

“Yung street gig na ito ay in support sa mga peasants natin. Gusto rin natin na makiisa sa laban ng mga magsasaka para sa mga iba’t-ibang karapatan nila […] at makakamtan natin sa pamamagitan ng tunay na reporma sa lupa,” del Rosario said. 

Peasant workers were also set to talk in the event to share their experiences which, however, did not push through due to heightened police presence in the area, citing safety and security concerns in line with the alleged spur of targeted killings of farmers.

Del Rosario also expressed his frustration in the surveillance of the local police in the area for the event: “Sobrang nakakafrustrate siya, kasi karapatan naman na mag-perform hindi lamang ipanawagan yung mga legitimate na calls ng mga magsasaka, [pati na] yung mga calls ng mga estudyante.”

He added: “Itong tinitiktikan tayo parang kumbaga ikino-consider tayong threat of security sa public. Well in fact, gusto kong sabihin na sila pa nga ang mas karapat-dapat bansagan bilang threat of security.”

Farmers burdened by rice tariffication law, militarization

Moreover, peasants’ rights group spokesperson lambasted the government’s policy of Rice Tariffication Law, saying that farmers’ rights, as the producers of the country, must be addressed by the government. 

Eddie Billolas, spokesperson of Katipunan ng Samahan ng Magsasaka – Timog Katagalugan, in an exclusive with TomasinoWeb, said: “Ang magsasaka ay tagapaglikha ng pagkain ‘yan. [Na] pakainin ang sambayanang Pilipino na walang bahid ng paglabag sa karapatan at dapat nga tugunan ang kanyang pangangailangan.” 

Billolas added that even though the law has already passed, farmers have no control on what they sell. He also implicated that the price of palay has deflated for as low as P9, making the local farmers suffer more in this current bill. 

A farmer from Mindoro, who had an exclusive interview with TomasinoWeb, stated that there is an ongoing militarization which targets the farmers and also the indigenous people specifically the Mangyan tribe. He decided to disclose his personal information for  safety reasons.

“Sa kasalukuyan ay marami ang militar sa amin at ang mga katutubo ay dinadaya at sinasaktan. Pumili rin [sila] ng mga lugar na malapit sa tinitirhan ng mga katutubo at binabantayan sila,” he said. 

Pertaining to the Rice Tariffication Law, he stated that he wishes the government would hear their plights and make an action towards the dreadful situation of the local farmers. “Ang panawagan namin ay sana itaas manlang ang produksyon namin hinggil sa aming pinagkakakitaan tulad na lamang ng niyog, saging at kung ano pa,” he added. 

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‘Sexual violence is display of power, rooted from injustice’

Thomasian feminist scholars asserted that sexual violence is a “matter of making [a] person powerless so [one] can feel powerful” and is deeply rooted from perceived injustice of earlier sexual abuse during the “Say No: A Talk on Consent and Violence Against Women” held at the Central Laboratory Auditorium yesterday, Nov. 6.

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Photo by Schiatzi Lonzanida/TomasinoWeb

Thomasian feminist scholars asserted that sexual violence is a “matter of making [a] person powerless so [one] can feel powerful” and is deeply rooted from perceived injustice of earlier sexual abuse.

Asst. Prof. Rhodora Lynn Lintag-Tababa, a sociology professor from the Faculty of Arts and Letters, said during her talk about gender-based violence that sexual violence results from the idea of a person being more powerful and has more advantage than others during the “Say No: A Talk on Consent and Violence Against Women” held at the Central Laboratory Auditorium yesterday, Nov. 6.

“[This] violence is coming from the idea that in the first place, ‘I believe I am more powerful. I have more advantage over you,’ so some people have the tendency to really discriminate and undermine other people and practice their power, and therefore can result to harassment and violence,” according to Lintag-Tababa.

Lintag-Tababa said that the explanation as to why sexual harassment is rampant up to this time is because “personal is political.”

“’Away mag-asawa ‘yan. LQ ng mag-jowa ‘yan. Wala tayong pakialam diyan because that’s personal,’… That is being used by the society [to not] actually look into the matters of the women who are being abused,” she said. “Because it is something personal.”

Women’s issues and concerns, according to her, are often disregarded, treated as petty or irrelevant, and considered as a personal matter in which no one should interfere.

Lintag-Tababa mentioned American sociologist C. Wright Mills’ concept of sociological imagination which identifies the personal as a reflection of something greater or wider political issues.

“The personal should be political. That is the cry. That is the statement. That should be the slogan that should empower women,” she said.

Matter of sexual control

“Rape is a legal term [and] not a medical entity. It is a crime of violence. […] Rapists use sexual violence to dominate and degrade their victims and to express their own anger,” Asst. Prof. Ma. Georgina Manzano of College of Nursing said.

According to Manzano, rape is perpetrated not because of the sexual urge but because when a person’s self esteem is threatened, he or she projects the feeling of being helpless and powerless to the victim.

“It is an issue of having power and control…It is not about having sexual urge towards the person [who is] wearing bikini. [It is when a] person sees the woman as a vulnerable individual. He might take over the ability of [the woman] to fight or protect herself,” she said during the open forum.

“The abuser or the rapist may have [had] some childhood experiences that could have triggered this kind of aggression towards another person,” she added.

Photo by Schiatzi Lonzanida/TomasinoWeb

Manzano emphasized that in social media, when men see pictures of women in revealing clothes, the initial reaction is not to have control over the latter through force or threat but is attributed to the Philippine culture in which women are expected to wear Maria Clara clothes.

“It starts with you, and it will end with you,” Tababa said. “Violence starts with you, especially if you are not aware that you are actually harassing or doing something that is already promoting violence against women […] It will also end with you if you will do something about it.”

The event “Say No: A Talk on Consent and Violence Against Women” was organized by the Thomasian Debaters Council, in partnership with UST Hiraya, Fotomasino, Tiger Media Network, and TomasinoWeb.

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Thomasians dominate top ten of psychometrician boards

Fourteen Thomasians landed on the top ten of the October 2019 psychometrician licensure examinations with the University being named as the third top-performing school.

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Photo by Nathaniel Salcedo/TomasinoWeb

Fourteen Thomasians landed on the top ten of the October 2019 psychometrician licensure examinations with the University being named as the third top-performing school.

The University accumulated an average of 96.74 percent or 178 passers out of 184 examinees passing the exams, higher than last year’s 88.02 percent.

Darlene Angela Ilagan led the new batch of Thomasian psychometricians placing third with an average of 86.00 percent, followed by Michelle Angela Arellano, Catherine Manansala and Jean-Clarence Perias ranking fifth with an average of 85.60 percent.

Cyrille Ann Patrice Chua took the seventh spot with 85.20 percent mark, followed by Lejandro Raevino Toledo placing eight with an average of 85.00 percent mark

Alexandra Michaela Carmen, Mark Allen de Lara, Samantha Isabelle Soliven, Micah Victoria Tan, Julianne Khryztelle Torres, Cristina Gaspar Callagan and Angel Letun Hilario all took the ninth spot with 84.80 percent average.

Cristina Gaspar Callagan and Angel Letun Hilario tied at the tenth place with 84.60 percent average.

The Ateneo de Manila University emerged as the top-performing school having a perfect percent passing rate with all 57 examinees passing the exams.

The national passing rate rose to 63.78 percent or 6,800 out of 10,670 examinees passing the psychometrician licensure examinations higher than last year’s 47.73 percent or 4,035 out of 8,453 examinees.

Meanwhile, in the psychologist licensure examinations, Elaine Fatima Acosta Simon ranked fourth having an average of 84.60 percent.

Only the De La Salle University had a spot in the top-performing schools garnering an average of 95.24 percent or 20 out of 21 examinees making it to the cut.

The national passing rate also improved to 72.18 percent or 205 out of 284 examinees passing the psychologist licensure examinations from last year’s 67.02 percent. R. Velasco.

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UST hosts 2019 Bar exams

The University once again hosted the annual Bar examinations with more than 8,000 aspiring lawyers from different parts of the country begin their examinations early today, Nov. 3.

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Photo by Vince Imperio/TomasinoWeb

The University once again hosted the annual Bar examinations with more than 8,000 aspiring lawyers begin their examinations early today, Nov. 3.

According to the Supreme Court, 8,245 examinees registered to take this year’s bar examinations which will be held on all Sundays of November ending on Nov. 24

In an ambush interview with TomasinoWeb, Manila Police District chief Brig. Gen. Bernabe Balba said that they implemented tightened security inside and outside the University with increased police presence.

“So meron tayong security inside, meron din outside of the school, […]. Meron tayong incharge sa traffic, meron tayong incharge sa mga gates, meron din tayong incharge na civil disturbance management just in case na merong mga crowd na gustong manggulo, at meron din tayong mga tactical elements like yung mga SWAT,” Balba shared.

He added, “Nakikipag-coordinate [din] tayo sa mga barangay para tulungan din nila tayo. Kasama [din] natin yung security ng school mismo at tsaka yung mga security ng Supreme Court, at tsaka yung mga kasama natin sa National Bureau of Investigation. […] Meron tayong Coast Guard, meron tayong MMDA, […]  meron din tayong mga agency diyan ng Lungsod ng Maynila.

He also said that there are also police in plain clothes who join the crowd as lookouts for suspicious activites: “Para tingnan kung mga may suspicious people na merong bad intention, at tsaka siguro to check na rin kung mayroong mga nagbebenta ng mga bawal.”

When asked about why the bar examinations is frequently held in University, Balba said that maybe the campus of UST is easier to secure.

“I think [that] is one of the considerations. Kasi kung titingnan mo yung UST ay, ano siya eh nakabakod tapos meron lang ikaw na papasukan para makapasok,” said Balba.

Balba also said that the westbound lane of España boulevard will be closed to traffic in the afternoon of Nov. 24 to accommodate the festivities after the conclusion of the Bar exams. The eastbound lane of España will then become two-way.

In addition, the stretch of Dapitan street from Lacson avenue to Andalucia street, and the stretch of P. Noval street from Dapitan to España boulevard will be closed to traffic on the next three Sundays of November (10, 17 and 24).

In the 2018 Bar examinations, only 1,800 out of 8,158 examinees passed the exams which is considered to be the one of the hardest exams in the country.

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