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#TWenty: The 2018 TomasinoWeb Year-end special

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Art by Jessica Lopez
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As the year draws to an end, we can’t help but think that this year is the worst—we say the same thing every year. But we really can’t blame ourselves because the Government really did us dirty; prices of our daily goods rose uncontrollably all thanks to the implementation of TRAIN law which made the poor even poorer, Martial Law in Mindanao is extended until the end of 2019 to “quell” the hostile activities there, and despite the rising death toll on the “War Against Drugs, the unjustified killings still continues.

Change has really happened to us, and it came down to us, really hardBut somehow, the sun shone on us. 

Our Growling Tigers’ renewed strength under the guidance of its new Coach Aldin Ayo and its Super Rookie Cj Cansino, revived the fighting spirit of the whole community.  And as the fight for our pride rekindles to a brighter flame, our fight for justice burns stronger as the 10 Aegis Juris frat men face charges against fatal hazing of Horacio and the former first lady Imelda Marcos is now convicted with seven counts of graft.

Yet, our country still faces the wrath of the Government as our the media faced the endless tirades where even their freedom is being suppressed by those in power. But strangely, the benevolence of our beloved system seems to be felt by the recently acquitted former senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla.

We were all begging for our plot twists to happen ever since 2017, but 2018 is the year that taught us that we don’t plead for change–we make it, because we’re tired of asking them to do so. And so, everyone in TomasinoWeb prepared for you #TWenty to look back to the times we have fallen, but most importantly, to the times we rose stronger than ever.

And we will continue to rise again—until lambs become lions.

Keep the fire burning,

Cielo Erikah Mae J. Cinco
Executive Editor

 

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Editorial

The mockery of Filipinos’ agony

Many actions and policies of the current administration not only fail to respond to the real needs and difficulties of Filipinos, but also reduces their daily agony to mere ‘challenges’ and experiments. 

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jeep
Photo by Miguel Yap/TomasinoWeb

The transport crisis in the Metro greatly showed its harsh realities in the past weeks. Aside from the horrendous traffic, the long lines in terminals, and the difficulty of hailing a spacious jeepney, the sudden malfunction of LRT-2 added up to the long list of problems and challenges many commuters have to endure. And yet, we can hear and see apathetic solutions from our leaders which are deemed to be ineffective and lacks the true intention of solving the country’s transit problems. Many actions and policies of the current administration not only fail to respond to the real needs and difficulties of Filipinos, but also reduces their daily agony to mere ‘challenges’ and experiments. 

Last Friday, we have seen Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo took a commute to his work from his home in Marikina to Malacañan. For him, this is to show those who challenged him that there really is no transport crisis. Hence, he said in his presscon that day that Filipinos only need to be creative in the traffic and commute problems in the Metro, and to “be creative” for we are known to be tough amidst difficulties. His creativity in his commute to the Palace took him almost four hours after three jeepney rides, an LRT ride, and a motorcycle ride, a struggle which could have been avoided if only there is a reliable public transport system in the Metro. 

Meanwhile, Senator Grace Poe also suggested having exclusive VIP MRT train coaches which will cost around P150-P200 per ride to ‘encourage’ especially upper class people to take public transport. The bill requiring government officials and leaders to take public transport every week has been filed again by Iligan Representative Frederick Siao in the Congress. Instead of providing legitimate solutions to address the transportation crisis, MMDA rides the publicity train by having its spokesperson Celine Pialago to steer the wheel, only to find her suing satirical social media pages instead of representing the struggles of daily Filipino commuters. 

To add to the burden, the current administration also seeks to respond to its traffic problems through neoliberalization of transport system in the country. Among this is the plan to phase out old, traditional jeepneys in 2020 as a response to its traffic problem with modern and eco-friendly ones. Although the proposition sounds good in theory, its effect on public transport and livelihood of jeepney drivers are worse than expected with costs that will surely bury many jeepney drivers and operators in huge debts and loans.

These actions and statements show that the big problem in the country’s transport system. The frequent denial and media publicity will never address these problems effectively but only shows the lack of empathy for the real needs of Filipinos, and mocks the burden they have to endure as a consequence of the selfish acts of many of our leaders.

Commuting from Manila to nearby provinces like Bulacan and Pampanga only takes around one to two hours. Meanwhile, commuting to Fairview in Quezon City, Las Piñas City, or to the nearby City of Antipolo takes a minimum of three hours especially during rush hours. To add to that, commuters have to endure long lines and poor facilities in trains and terminals, and the difficulty of hailing a jeepney or bus ride. As a consequence, many resort to bringing their own cars or using car hailing apps like Grab which only adds to the traffic on the road instead of its one to four passengers joining other commuters in jeepneys, buses or trains which can accommodate a minimum of 20 passengers. These scenarios only show that commuters and public transport is still not the top priority of our government despite other developed countries giving much of its attention to it.

Imagine also the burden of those who have no other option in their daily transport but to take public transport for it is more affordable than getting a taxi, a Grab booking or bringing and having their own car. Many of them are students and workers who experience the terrible transport crisis the most. This problem does not only tire them physically but also affects their performance in their schools and in their jobs, preventing them from reaching their full potential. They are also being deprived of having quality time with their families or with themselves or to manage other responsibilities and jobs they have. In fact, our leaders will not be required to take public transport through a law if only there is a quality, affordable and accessible mass public transport system in the country. Again, all these are the consequence of inefficient policies of our government which should be the one to provide those mentioned basic services and needs to the people it serves. 

Filipinos have long endured the long lines in terminals, hospitals and other governmental institutions. Their true welfare has long been sacrificed and neglected and our leaders seem to be unbothered of the fiasco burdening the country and its people. The government should divert its priority on the real needs of the people it serves and put an end to all its inefficient and elitist policies that only mocks and prolongs the agony of Filipinos.

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Basketball

Tigers take down streaking Red Warriors in lopsided fashion

The UST Growling Tigers asserted their dominance against the University of the East Red Warriors as they put on a masterclass performance with a 101-73 win in the second round of the UAAP Season 82 Men’s Basketball Tournament at the Araneta Coliseum, Wednesday, October 9.

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Photo by Ralph Rainell Estrella/TomasinoWeb

The UST Growling Tigers asserted their dominance against the University of the East Red Warriors as they put on a masterclass performance with a 101-73 win in the second round of the UAAP Season 82 Men’s Basketball Tournament at the Araneta Coliseum, Wednesday, October 9.

Recovering from the last game’s defeat against the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles, the Tigers snatched their first win in the tournament’s second and final round of elimination.

Graduating forward Zachary Huang recorded a career high performance with 22 points with an efficient 8-out-of-12 shooting which included going 6-out-of-8 from the three-point line. 

“One of the factors siguro kaya ganoon yung laro kasi we were able to release the pressure. Lower the expectations,” Coach Aldin Ayo said regarding his team’s mentality heading into the game.

“Have fun while playing, but be responsible. Go home. Go to the people na nandoon nung nag-umpisa ka,” he added when asked about how he and his team deals with the sudden outburst of public attention due to their early success.

The game saw UST’s league leading offense click once again with their highly efficient 42.39% field goal percentage which included 14 threes that resulted in a season-high 101 points.

The Tigers took control of the game early on, ending the first half on a high note as they entered halftime 55-29.

By the third quarter, UST caught fire and buried the Red Warriors further as they built up a 34-point lead, 72-38, courtesy of three straight triples from Zach Huang and a bucket from Soulemane Chabi Yo. 

UE countered with a 16-2 run to cap off the third quarter to trim their lead down to 20 heading into the fourth, but that proved to be an empty run as the Tigers once again exploded in the final canto and shut off any comeback attempt from the Red Warriors. 

Complementing Huang’s career performance would be Soulemane Chabi Yo, who also chipped in 22 points of his own to go along with 14 rebounds, a huge bounce back from the Ateneo matchup wherein he was limited to 6 points on a 2-for-11 shooting clip.

The Red Warriors were led by Alex Diakhite, with 24 points and 12 rebounds, while Neil Tolentino and veteran point guard Philip Manalang poured in 11 and 10 points respectively. 

Scoring guard Rey Suerte on the other hand struggled to get his shots off as he was limited to just 10 points while shooting 30% from the field. 

UST now improves to 5-4, trailing half a game behind the second-seeded UP Fighting Maroons, while the Red Warriors go further down the standings with a 3-6 slate.

The Tigers will face the  Far Eastern University Tamaraws next  on Sunday (Oct. 13) at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

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News

Martial law forum highlights human rights violations

A martial law forum hosted by the UST-Simbahayan was held yesterday, September 20, 2019 as part of the Francisco De Vitoria Linggo ng Karapatang Pantao featuring talks about martial law and human rights.

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Photo by Audrice Serrano

A martial law forum hosted by the UST-Simbahayan was held yesterday, September 20, 2019 as part of the Francisco De Vitoria Linggo ng Karapatang Pantao which featured talks about martial law and human rights.

In the beginning of the program held at the Graduate School Auditorium, the University’s Vice Rector for Religious Affairs Rev. Fr. Pablo Tiong O.P. first introduced Francisco De Vitoria and his role in human rights during his time.

“Nang 1225 isinilang si Santo Tomas. Mga 1510-1520, si Francisco De Vitoria, isa ring Dominican, ipinaglaban niya ang karapatang pantao ng mga tiga-Americas,” said Tiong.

He shared that Vitoria fighted for the rights of the natives in South America in the Court of the King of Spain.

“Matinding debate, matinding paglalaban […] na kailangan igalang ang karapatang pantao ng mga natives ng South America,” said Tiong.

He also added the importance of the duty of respecting others’ rights and to carefully analyze the rights being fought for. 

“Magkasama ang duty at rights, mga katungkulan at karapatan. […] “Kapag nag-umpisa tayo sa tungkulin sa Diyos, matutuklasan natin na lahat pala ng karapatang pantao ay galing sa Diyos. Mayroon tayong katungkulang igalang ang karapatang pantao [at] suriin kung ang ipinaglalaban ay tunay na karapatan,” he added.

Hilda Narciso, a victim and survivor of the martial law era who is now a healer also gave a talk about her experiences during those times.

She asserted that there is again an undeclared martial law in the country, and she keeps on talking about the stories of martial law because she does not it to happen again.

“We are all sick. The country is sick. Which is why I go to healing. I kept talking about these things because I don’t want it to happen again.

She also urged the youth to keep the torch burning to imitate Christ’s example of respect and compassion for others. 

“Dalhin niyo sa susunod na henerasyon. […] Gayahin niyo ang Panginoon, ang kanyang pagtingin sa tao […] at pagpapahalaga sa kapwa.

Jerbert Briola, Deputy Executive Director of Task Force Detainee of the Philippines and a member of the Commission on Human Rights also gave a talk on human rights in the country under President Rodrigo Duterte.

He asserted that human rights violations are still rampant under the Duterte administration and there are different methods being imposed to “restrict civil liberties.”

“Patuloy pa rin ang paglabag sa karapatang pantao sa ilalim ni Pangulong Duterte. […] Lahat ng presidenteng dumaan hanggang ngayon ay patuloy na umiigting ang oagpabag sa karapatang pantao,” said Briola.

He also mentioned that Duterte has a narrow view on his interpretation on human rights and the prevalence of culture of death in the country.

“Pag drug pushers, drug lords, wala nang karapatan. […] Ganon na lang yung kawalan ng pagpapahalaga ng Pangulo ng Pilipinas sa karapatang pantao. […] Dito makikita natin, paano yung narrow mindedness ni Pangulong Duterte sa kanyang interpretasyon, sa kanyang pag intindi sa human rights,” said Briola.

Briola also mentioned that the planned national ID system will might lead to increase in government surveillance and analytical breach.

“Malalaman ng isang gobyerno, ng isang institution kung progressive ka ba or not. […] Itong national ID system ay massive profiling ng mga Pilipino,” he said.

For him, these events are proofs of the degradation of democratic space in the country and urged the youth to do their duty to resist.

“Yung patuloy at patuloy na pagsisinungaling, ito ay magiging totoo. At ito ang nangyayari ngayon. […] It is our duty to resist,” he said.

Militarization in universities to ‘sow terror’

The plan to increase military presence in universities was also tackled where the speakers expressed their disapproval and concerns.

Tiong said that if there is really an actual threat, the protection should be provided by the Philippine National Police (PNP) which is part of their duty and not by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

“How we wish this would be reconsidered because under ordinary circumstances, the peace and order should be kept by police force. […] But if we would going to have that protection, the protection should be for real threat. And we wish that it would not come from the military because the military is for external threat,” said Tiong.

Briola also expressed his concerns, mentioning that the training of the military is quite different and they have a different mindset.

“Ang military or ang AFP, they were trained, iba ang training niyan compared to PNP and other security forces. They were trained to destroy. Iba ang kanilang mindset. […] It will open gates ng iba’t ibang abuses,” he said.

Narciso also pointed out that increasing military presence in schools will only “sow terror” to the students.

“Why come up with militarization in school. It will sow terror in schools. Magiging dumb na kayo. Hindi na kayo kikilos. Hindi na kayo magiging free kung paano kayo hinubog ng Diyos na maglingkod sa kapwa,” said Narciso.

The Francisco De Vitoria Linggo ng Karapatang Pantao is a weeklong activity featuring in the University in commemoration of the 42nd anniversary of the declaration of martial law in the country.

An exhibit was also held at the lobby of UST-Tan Yan Kee Student Center featuring different martial law victims and events.

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