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Militant student group decries death threat on SHS student amid activist crackdown

Prior to the death threat, the League of Filipino Students member had been receiving phone calls from the same number since Saturday, Dec. 2.

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Militant student group League of Filipino Students — UST (LFS-UST) has denounced a death threat sent to one of its members, a senior high school student, through an anonymous phone call received Dec. 4, Monday.

In a statement posted on the group’s Facebook page, LFS-UST detailed that a “much older man” told the student “maghanap ka na ng paglilibingan mo” in a call that lasted for one minute and 33 seconds.

The activist group rebuked the fatal warning given to its member, who requested to remain anonymous for security purposes.

“The League of Filipino Students-UST strongly condemns this lousy threat to our member in this time of crackdown on progressive organizations,” the post read.

The statement continued: “It is with great indignation that we find this threat during this time of political uncertainty.”

People bearing the names of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the United States Army were allegedly sending the student Facebook friend requests amid the threats.

Yesterday afternoon, 3:51 p.m., the student also received a Facebook password reset code through a text message, suggesting attempts to hack and access LFS-UST member’s account.

The account has since been recovered earlier today.

Prior to the Monday call, the threatened student had been receiving phone calls from the same number since Saturday, Dec. 2.

The call came from the number 09063168000, which is still unreachable as of updated press time. The same number also sent death threats to a member of poetry collective KM64 last Dec. 6.

Kabataan Patylist has included the case of the LFS-UST SHS member in its “crackdown bulletin” for Dec. 5 and Dec. 6.

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Earlier today, LFS-UST posted an update containing a series of phone screenshots from its member, who received more threats through text messages last midnight sent from the same number.

Progressive groups from other schools have reported similar cases of harassment and intimidation of their members by police and suspected military agents over the past months in the midst of the government’s crackdown on activists (READ: Anti-revgov protesters blocked from Mendiola on Bonifacio Day).

Following the collapse of the peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), Pres. Rodrigo Duterte stated last Nov. 22 that he will order the arrest of progressive groups , which he referred to as CPP’s “legal fronts.”

The President has accused them of terrorism and conspiring with the New People’s Army (NPA), CPP’s armed wing.

“I will simply declare you all terrorists. Terorista kayo pati ‘yang mga legal front niyo,” he said, adding: “You are helping each other, conspiring to topple or whatever to sow terror.”

Yesterday, Nov. 5, the President signed Proclamation No. 374 declaring CPP-NPA as terrorist organizations. — with additional reports from P. Jamilla

by Angelika Ortega

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2 Thomasians among top 10 in 2020 physician boards

Two Thomasians placed second and seventh among the top 10 of the 2020 physician licensure exams (PLE) held last March and September.

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Alexa Taay/TomasinoWeb

Two Thomasians placed second and seventh among the top 10 of the 2020 physician licensure exams (PLE) held last March and September.

John Marlon Lintan, who emerged second, got a score of 88 percent, while Erika Anne Pañgan, who landed on seventh place, got a score of 87.08 percent.

The University placed fourth among top performing schools and recorded a passing rate of 86.96 percent, with 20 out 23 examinees, lower than last year’s 99.31 percent, with 430 out of 433 examinees.

Maria Carla Buenaflor topped this year’s PLE with a score of 89.17 percent, and Far Eastern University – Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation was hailed as the top performing school.

Right timing

Despite the pandemic, circumstances have been favorable to both Lintan and Pañgan.

In a Facebook post, Lintan expressed his gratitude and encouraged everyone not to allow delays to define their present and future.

A dream delayed isn’t a dream denied,” Lintan said on his Facebook post. “Just strive forward, have faith and believe that there is a right timing for everything.”

For a dream delayed isn’t a dream denied.Posting this as a gentle reminder to never allow delays define what you can…

Jm Lintanさんの投稿 2020年10月1日木曜日

In an interview, Pañgan said she had to wait and make a lot of adjustments before the board exams.

“I originally started my board exam preparations [in] December of 2019 for the March 2020 PLE, but due to the pandemic, our batch had to wait for another 4 months to be given a definitive date for the second part of our board exams,” Pañgan told TomasinoWeb.

During quarantine, Pañgan followed a daily schedule and routine to make sure she’s both on track and living healthy.

“I tried to live healthy indoor spinning class, some arts and crafts, sleep eight to 10 hours a day during the lockdown period,” she said. 

Pañgan admitted that this year’s licensure exam was a “very uncomfortable experience” compared to the March to September PLE last year. 

“It was three times harder than usual but everything is possible when you put your heart and mind on what you do and what you want to achieve,” she said. 

Eight hundred examinees out of 1,424 passed this year with a national passing rate of 56.18 percent, from last year’s 84.96 percent or 4,006 out of 4,715 examinees. With reports from Paolo Alejandrino, Jayziel Khim Budino, and Coleen Ruth Abiog

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Martial law victims slam Marcos day

Martial Law victims condemned the approval of House Bill No. 7137 bill declaring Sept. 11 a non-working holiday in Ilocos Norte to commemorate the birth of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. 

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Martial Law victims condemned the approval of House Bill No. 7137 bill declaring Sept. 11 a non-working holiday in Ilocos Norte to commemorate the birth of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. 

Bantayog ng mga Bayani Executive Director Ma. Cristina Rodriguez said that it is “harmful to the country’s history” as it could generate misleading facts that can confuse younger generations. 

“Kapag hinayaan mo ang probinsya niya na i-honor parin siya, ang harm niyan hindi lang sa probinsya niya kung hindi sa buong bansa,” Rodriguez said. 

According to Rodriguez, the Marcoses should be held accountable for the youth to understand the atrocities during Martial Law. 

She stressed that Ilocos Norte should instead “be ashamed” as they “fully benefited” from Marcos, while Mindanao was bombed and Cagayan Valley and Samar’s forest were industrially logged. 

“Sa totoo lang ang dapat maging attitude ng mga taga-Ilocos Norte ay bumawi naman kayo. ‘Wag niyo nang igasgas sa sugat ang asin,” Rodriguez said. 

Rodriguez also said that the national government should not acknowledge the bill to “hold a moral position” on the abuses inflicted by the Marcoses. 

“Yung mga nakinabang sa Martial Law at sa panahon ni Marcos gusto nila ‘yan. Dapat yung ating pagsusulat ng kasaysayan at pagtuturo ng kasaysayan ay tama,” Martial Law political prisoner Cris Palabay said. 

Palabay urged the youth not to forget the atrocities during the Martial Law. 

“Huwag po tayong matakot, lagi ko nga po sinasabi yung culture of fear, culture of silence, dapat yan ay labanan, tiyak yan, mas maraming magagandang mangyayari,” Palabay said. 

The webinar, “Francisco de Vitoria: Linggo ng Karapatang Pantao – Talakayang Batas Militar” was organized by UST SIMBAHAYAN Community Development Office to shed light on the abuse of human rights amid the pandemic. Cherizza Mae Bautista

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Filipino environmental advocates demand for ‘better normal’

Filipino youth advocates on climate change and various environmental organizations on Wednesday, Sept. 23, demanded a “better normal” to put everyone, and the environment in front.

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Filipino youth advocates on climate change and various environmental organizations on Wednesday, Sept. 23, demanded a “better normal” to put everyone, and the environment in front.

“As youth leaders, as young people, we have been active in different forms of advocacy work to forward our legitimate concerns on government policies, but particularly those related to environment and climate, and to those policies that will directly affect us,” said youth representative Jeff Estela during the online press conference.

Estela stressed the recent suppression of the freedom of speech, following the passage of the Anti-Terror Law.

Last July, youth environmental activist Greta Thunberg called to repeal the said law, citing that it equates environmental activism with terrorist activities.

“With the current move and actions of the government, this can be used to intensify the intimidation, fear-mongering, and the present attacks on the environmental defenders and advocates,” Estela said.

Environmental lawyer and activist Atty. Antonio La Viña emphasized the need of the youth to make strong demands, and to take direct action to appeal to the decision makers.

“I think the time now is to be really radical about the solutions,” he said.

La Viña highlighted the benefit of listening to indigenous people, as it will prevent further damage in nature such as the construction of Kaliwa Dam.

Yung climate change is not about carbon. It is not about emissions, ‘di ba? It’s not about markets. It’s on people,” he said. “Tao. Lalo na mahihirap.

Transition of renewable energy, according to La Viña, produces sustainable and cheap energy for everyone.

“Renewable energy is the future, the economics are there for it, and we just have to take very strong action to go to the transition very close to energy,” he said.

The online press conference, “National Youth Demands: Youth Declaration for Climate Justice,” with the theme “Para sa Klimabukasan,” was organized by Youth Strike 4 Climate Philippines in solidarity with global movements inspired by Thunberg. Vhey Dela Cruz Tapia

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