May Mas Sasaya Pa Ba Kay Chito Gascon?

Commission on Human Rights Chairman Jose Luis Martin “Chito” C. Gascon

Unang Bahagi

ni Wilfredo G. Villanueva

Una, si Senator Leila de Lima. Sumunod, si Senator Sonny Trillanes. Mga na-interview ko at namangha ako sa tapang, abilidad at pagka-dakila nila.

Ngayon naman, heto ang pangatlo: si Chito Gascon, chairman ng Commission on Human Rights. Nagkakanda ekis-ekis ang mga daliri ko sa keyboard, naguunahan sila parang mga asong nakawala sa kural, gustong ipahayag ang nakita’t narining ko nuong Sept. 19 sa bahay niya, at nuong Sept. 21, sa CHR grounds para parangalan ang isa pang kahanga-hangang Pilipino, si Jose W. Diokno.

Ang sabi ko kay Chair Gascon, gusto ko siyang tawaging wounded o disabled warrior parang Apolinario Mabini, kasi: 1) may iniinda siyang mga sugat sa parehong paa, 2) may diabetes siya, at 3) may tungkod siya, pero patuloy pa rin siya sa kanyang sinumpaang mission. Siya ang pambansang tagapagtaguyod ng karapatang pantao. Our champion of human rights.

Hmm, nag-isip siya. “Tila mas gusto ko yung sinabi sa akin ng isang taga-suporta, na ako raw ay isang happy warrior, isang mandirigmang magaan ang pakiramdam at natutuwa sa nangyayari, masaya man o malungkot,” sabi niya. Oo nga. Sang-ayon ako. Alam ninyo ba, kung makiki-selfie kayo sa kanya, kusa siyang magwa-wacky pose, parang bata ang pananaw sa buhay pero h’wag ka, ‘di uurong itong batang ire.

Middle class ang family niya. Taga Negros Occidental, nananaig ang dugong Español nila, pero ‘di sila landed aristocracy, yung bang sugar baron. Nag-aral siya sa Don Bosco Makati, elementarya’t high school. Kasa-kasama niya habang lumalaki siya ang ilang army brats, mga anak ng heneral kasi malapit lang ang Don Bosco sa military camps ng Fort Bonifacio at Villamor airbase. Pinanganak siya nuong 1964, isang taon bago maupo si Ferdinand Marcos sa Malacañang. Kung kaya kinagisnan niya ang pagka-pangulo ni Marcos; wala siyang kilalang ibang presidente hanggang 1985. Dahil sa pagka-mangha niya sa naturang presidente, nuong high school pa lang siya, gusto niyang maging isang technocrat; maganda kasi ang ipinakita nila Cesar Virata, at iba pa, nakatutulong na sa bayan, naka barong pa, isip niya.

Pumasok siya ng UP Diliman. Nakita niya duon si Ed Garcia na founder ng Lakasdiwa, isang movement na nagmula sa Ateneo de Manila, nauna ito sa o kasabay umusbong ng Kabataang Makabayan, pulahan. Moderate ang Lakasdiwa pero maigting din ang paglaban sa nabubulok na sistema. Ang sabi ni Chito kay Ed Garcia, isang dating Jesuit priest, itatatag daw nila Chito ulit ang Lakasdiwa, dahil naguumpisa nang mamulat ang pagmamahal sa bayan ng binatilyong ito. Sabi daw ni Ed Garcia, h’wag na lang. Marahil, nakita ni Ed na walang pupuntahan ang moderates sapagkat makapal ang mukha ng Marcos dictatorship.

Sa UPSCA o UP Student Catholic Action nahubog si Chito bilang isang makabayan at matulungin ng Pilipino. Meron silang activities na nagdadala sa kanila sa kaibuturan ng mga maralita at duon nakikihalubilo, nakikiramay, kumakain ng pagkain ng pamilyang kanilang tinutuluyan. Ito’y Christianity in action.

Isinilang ang kaisipan niyang sobra na, tama na, palitan na nuong 1983. August 21. Nuong August 20 kasi, nilapitan siya ng mga brods ni Ninoy Aquino, mga Upsilonians, kung pwede daw siyang sumama sa pagsundo sa dating senador na brod nila sa nuon ay Manila International Airport. Tinanggihan niya ang paanyaya. ‘Di niya kilala si Ninoy. Pero nung malaman niya na binaril ang bayani sa airport, para siyang nanghinayang na ‘di niya maintindihan. Baka daw kung sumama siya sa mga Upsilonians, baka daw iba ang kinahinatnan ni Ninoy. Bata pa siya at simple lang magisip. Sa madaling salita, na-guilty siya. Kaya nuong August 22, unang araw ng burol, pumunta siya ng Times street. Mag-isa. Parang nagtatangis. Wala pang pila nuon. Wala pang kumakalat na balita by word-of-mouth na dumadagsa ang tao sa burol. Sa bahay dinala ang bangkay ni Ninoy. Nakapasok siya sa loob ng bakuran at nakalapit siya, mga dalawang dangkal lang ang layo niya sa duguang bangkay. Hindi na nilinis ito. Maraming galos sa mukha, may tama ng bala sa baba, yung nilabasan ng balang kumitil sa buhay ng senador, nakita niya. Ang puting jacket, ‘di na puti, kinulayan na ng dugo.

Ang sabi niya sa sarili niya, “Kung magagawa ito ng mga awtoridad sa isang kilalang tao, paano pa ang ordinaryong mamamayan?” Magsimula nuong araw na iyon, ayaw na niyang maging technocrat. Nabuo sa isipan niya na kakalagin niya ang tanikala ng diktadura, para ang maliliit pati ang kilalang tao ay pwedeng mabuhay nang matiwasay at walang peligro sa sistemang demokrasya, hindi sa ilalim ng diktaturya.

Grabeng naapekto si Chito sa pagpaslang kay Ninoy. Yung balang lumusot sa baba ng senador, tila tumalbog at napuruhan siya. Sapul sa puso. Pero buhay siya at meron pa siyang magagawa. Nag-ikot siya kasama ang grupo niyang Nagkaisang Tugon sa mga kolehiyo at unibersidad para magising ang mga kabataan sa malalim na pagkakahimbing. Wala kasing free press nuon at kung ano lang ang balitang pabor sa Marcos ang siyang nababasa ng tao. “Ipagtanggol ang karapating pantao ng mga Filipino,” wika niya, habang nagbubuo ng non-violent protest laban sa Marcos. Para siyang nasapian. Dito nagumpisa ang pagka-aktibista niya, hanggang makilala siya ni Cory Aquino nung 1986, at binansagan siyang “firebrand,” o isang tagapagsalita na nakakapukaw ng damdamin, kadalasan matinding galit tungo sa malakihang kilos protesta.

Walang kapagud-pagod si Chito. Tumakbo siyang chairman ng student council. Nagulat sa kanya ang mga batang UP, pang Ateneo daw ang hitsura’t political persuasion niya. ‘Di nakatulong na malasutla ang balat niya, straight English pa kung dumale. Pero kung Tagalog sa Tagalog, kayang-kaya rin ng bida kung kaya nagustuhan siya ng mga estudyante. “Talagang maraming may crush sa kanya, babae man o hindi… lalo na sa IMC (Institute of Mass Communication, now a college). Ako, personally, crush ko siya,” sabi ni Jenni Bulan, isang dating estudyante ng UP.

Nanalo siya. Siya ang UP Student Council chairman nuong 1985. Nung sumiklab ang mutiny sa Camp Crame sa susunod na taon, at nagtawag si Cardinal Sin at Butz Aquino ng mga tao para palibutan sila Ramos, Enrile, Honasan at iba pang rebelde ng Reform the Armed Forces Movement o RAM, nagpunta siya kasama ang maraming UP students, mga Isko at Iska kumikilos para sa bayan. Buong apat na araw sila nandun. Apat na araw ng Pebrero: nakita niya ang tinatawag na People Power.

Dalawang taon na ang nakalilipas nang hirangin ni Pangulong Benigno Aquino III si Chito bilang Chairman ng Commission on Human Rights. Ang termino niya ay magtatapos sa 2022. Ang posisyon ay hindi co-terminus o magtatapos kapag bumaba na ang appointing power; may nakatakda na katapusan ito na hindi nakasalalay sa bagong pangulo.

Habang sinusulat ko itong article na ito, naibalik na ang budget ng CHR “to respectable levels,” sabi ni Chair. Yung dating P1,000.00 na annual budget ng Commission on Human Rights para sa susunod na taon, hindi na matutuloy yun, sa halip, maibibigay ang budget na P508 million, masikip kasi P678 million ang proposed, pero pwede na—tiim bagang.

Ang dami na niyang nagawang kabutihan sa bayan, nagpaka-eksperto sa mga isyung human rights, pero bakit kamuntik nabigyan ang ahensyang pinamumunuan ni Chito Gascon ng isang libong pisong budget? Duon daw humingi ng budget sa mga kriminal, sabi ni House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, tutal mga kriminal lang naman daw ang ipinagtatanggol ng CHR. Umilaw ang social media, maraming nagtaka at nagalit, bakit nagkaganito? Isang ahensya na itinatag ng Consitution, sinakal ang budget, tinanggalan ng ipapasweldo sa mga imbestigador at ibang empleyado, panggastos sa maintenance and other operating expenses?

Mabuti naman at umatras ang Speaker sa ganitong posisyon gawa ng nakabibinging ugong, pero kay Chito, patuloy ang tinatawag niyang “push back” o ‘di pag-sangayon sa mga taong nasa poder kung ito ay nagkakamali na.

“Speak truth to power,” sabi ni Chito, inungkat ang sinabi marahil sa isang libro ng mga Quaker sa United States. Ibig sabihin, kahit masasaktan o mapapahiya ka, sabihin mo pa rin ang katotohanan.

Kaya daw kailangan ng push back. Kailangan ng bayan ang push back. “Ang efficacy ng war on drugs ay napunta na sa number of people killed, talks about quotas, incentives. Papano yung mga pamilyang nawalan ng mahal sa buhay, nawalan ng taga-bigay ng gastusin sa pangaraw-araw?” tanong ni Chairman Gascon. “We report to the public. It’s the principle of it. It’s enshrined in the constitution,” dagdag niya.

Balik tanawin natin ang katungkulan ng Commission on Human Rights.

Sabi ni Chairman Gascon: “Ang mission ng CHR para sa republika ay ang pangalagaan ang human rights o karapatang pantao ng mga mamamayan na namatay, nahuli, naapektuhan ng operasyon ng galamay ng gobyerno, katulad ng kapulisan o kasundaluhan. Ang mga operasyon kasi ng estado hindi dapat nalalabag ang karapatang pantao ninuman.”

Pumunta si Jenni sa CHR nuong Sept. 21 para gunitain ang Proclamation 1081 na nagbigay ng mapait na karanasan sa bansa. Hindi lang nanakawan ang kaban ng bayan, marami pang taong nawawala hanggang sa ngayon, napatay, napagsamantalahan, na-rape.

Dumaan si Chito sa tapat ni Jenni, at sa sobrang nerbiyos, ang nasabi lang ng ginang ay “Congratulations.” Akala ni Jenni sayang ang pagkakataon. Mabuti bumalik si Chito sa hanay nila Jenni. Nakita ang anak niyang babae na dose anyos. “How old are you? Study well ha… Where do you go to school?” lambing ni Chairman Gascon sa bata.

“Yan ang tao!” sabi ni Jenni.

Itutuloy. Abangan.

_________________________________________

Kumuha tayo ng ilang mahahalagang kaganapan sa propesyonal na buhay ni Chairman Jose Luis Martin “Chito” C. Gascon:

  • Pinakabatang delegate sa Constitutional Convention na sumulat ng 1987 constitution;
  • Miyembro, 8th Philippine Congress, nagpasa ng batas para hindi lang saling-pusa ang kabataan sa local government, at isang batas para mapahalagahan ang proteksyon ng mga bata sa lahat ng pang-aabuso (Republic Act 7610);
  • Miyembro, official delegation sa 2012 Universal Periodic Review sa Human Rights Council na ginanap sa Geneva, pinangunahan ni dating Justice Secretary at CHR Chair Leila De Lima;
  • Director General ng Liberal Party, 2008-2011 at Political Director nuong 2010 National Electoral Campaign;
  • Nagturo ng Law, Politics at Human Rights sa Political Science Departments ng Ateneo de Manila at De la Salle Universities;
  • Patuloy ang kanyang advocacies o pinagtutuunan ng pansin ang human rights;
  • Graduate siya ng Philosophy at Law sa UP Diliman. Nag M.A. siya sa Law na nakatuon sa human rights, kasama ng ibang subjects, sa St. Edmund’s College, University of Cambridge sa pamagitan ng isang scholarship.
Comments
93 Responses to “May Mas Sasaya Pa Ba Kay Chito Gascon?”
  1. Aida Bautista says:

    Mas may gaganda pa ba sa artikulong ito – na isinulat sa ating wikang Pilipino na mas higit na tumatatak sa pusong Pilipino kaysa sa ibang wika?

    Maraming salamat po …

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10

  2. karlgarcia says:

    Salamat sa lahat lahat Will.
    Sa mga interview, sa mga mini biographies nila at isa lahat na.

  3. andrewlim8 says:

    Though he was ahead by a few years, I have met him, heard him speak and read his writings during his campus politics days.

    These days I tell people, fate must have put him at this point in history, because if there is anyone who has the moral fiber, the intellect, the credentials and the integrity to resist all those fascists in Congress and Malacanang, it is him.

    Pray for him, fight for him, fight with him.

    Resist!

    No to fascism!

    No to Marcos revisionism!

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      You’re right, Andrew. I thank President Duterte and his cohorts for providing contrast. This is a lesson in civics—what’s right, what’s wrong, white as against black. After this episode, I hope there will be no more grays, no more in-betweens. They slithered through the cracks.

  4. andrewlim8 says:

    Out of topic, but it has to do with what I believe is a new form of trolling.

    For all TSH regulars: I am seeing a new form here and elsewhere of trolls who can write pretty well and would have reasonable sounding arguments that use the format, ” I am not pro-Duterte, BUT..” or ” I agree with you on… BUT…..” or “I am not pro-Marcos BUT…”

    Be wary of such commenters, as I think they are trying to reach communities where there is informed discussion.

    How to deal with them? Ask for credentials. If they do not engage in discussion to elaborate their points, then they are likely trolls whose main objective is to insert their propaganda.

  5. NHerrera says:

    There are indeed gems in the current moral desert called the Philippines. One such gem is Chito Gascon. All it needs is for Wil — our great gem explorer — to dig it and write about it very clearly and in his signature way in our wikang Pilipino. Maraming salamat.

    Eagerly awaiting for the next part.

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Thanks, NH. I should be going around with a shovel, pick axe, a helmet with light in the dark tunnel in which we find ourselves. It’s a race against time, hoping a landslide of trolls and curses doesn’t put an end to exploration for precious stones, gold and diamonds. Dig, dig, dig.

  6. Edgar Lores says:

    *******
    1. I have wondered about two things in the last year and a half:

    1.1. Why Duterte said, “Human rights is shit.”
    1.2. Why society has not condemned him for saying so. Not a peep from the other guardians of society, the Legislature, the Judiciary, the IBP and other civic organizations.

    2. Both are indicative of the level of consciousness that currently obtains in the country. But as a lawyer, Duterte would be expected to uphold the Constitution and the law. And the law, as Magsaysay implied, is for the protection of the least in society.

    3. It were as if the tide of human history has not lapped upon our shores. The roots of human rights go way back to the Magna Carta (1215) , the English Bill of Rights (1689), the American Declaration of Independence (1776), the French Declaration of Human Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789), and the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948). It is enshrined in our constitution in two ways:

    o The Bill of Rights
    o The creation of the CHR

    4. The issue of human rights should be at the forefront of our concerns after our experience with martial law when the abuses of human rights were at its most extensive in our modern history. Apparently not.

    5. And yet here we are voting a moral dwarf into office and allowing his henchman in the police force to cull the ranks of the poor. Allowing his Secretary of Justice and the Solicitor General to incarcerate a Senator on trumped-up charges. Allowing Senators to whitewash the existence of the DDS. And allowing greater abuses of human rights that engulf the lives of our innocent youth.

    6. Thanks to Will for his series of portraits of the country’s modern heroes.
    *****

    • Sorry for delay, Edgar. Internet connectivity problems here.

      • Edgar Lores says:

        *******
        That’s alright. I seem to be the only affected. Is it me? 🙂

        As far as I can tell, it’s the length of my post that causes spamming. Or the particular combination of length and timing. Or the particular combination of length, timing, and direction. I hope they can fix that underwater cable soon. Let’s see if this goes through.
        *****

    • It is a strain to find positives when there is so much death and destruction going on. I find it in the fairly substantial number of people speaking for democracy, human rights, and civility. I have a loose rank order of these, “The Valiant”, based mainly on the courage they display and the impact I think they have, and here is my Top 10:

      1. Trillanes
      2. Hontiveros
      3. Gascon
      4. De Lima
      5. Robredo
      6. Pangilinan
      7. Monsod
      8. Hilbay
      9. Leonen
      10. Aquino (Bam)

      • Edgar Lores says:

        *******
        Perhaps we can round it up to the Top 15.

        Include the following columnists and celebrities:

        o Manuel Quezon III
        o Randy David
        o John Nery
        o Raissa Robles
        o Jim Paredes

        There are actually a few more I could add — Edwin Lacierda, Abi Valte, Leah Navarro.
        *****

        • A superb rounding out. Agree. You know, she is not a political advocate, but I would add Maria Ressa, who seems to be running about the only true journalism publication in the Philippines. (I’ll address this on Wednesday, as a matter of fact . . . journalism, not Maria Ressa).

        • mcgll says:

          Surely, I am not the only one who thinks, Vergel O. Santos belongs among those who valiantly speak for democracy.

          • You’d have to provide an introduction to those of us who don’t know him.

            • I googled him. He wrote 2 hard-hitting articles for New York Times about Duterte.

              “Vergel O. Santos is a columnist for Rappler, a Manila-based online news site.”

              I do not remember these being published by Rappler.

              • Very impressive gentleman. Editor, Manila Chronicle. Chairman, Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility. Veteran Journalist, writes for PDI, ABS CBN, Al Jazeera, NYT and Rappler. Wrote books about Journalism and Philippine Politics. Martial Law Eyewitness. Not fond of Duterte. Sired a Filipino singer.

                I did not see a Wikipedia page for him but there is one for CMFR where he was mentioned. It led me to http://cmfr-phil.org which actually have a number of good articles.

                Thank you, mcgll.

              • Ah, indeed. Add him to the group. Thanks, JP, and mcgll.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Thanks Juana for doing the research.
                Thanks mcgil for introducing him to us.

              • NHerrera says:

                From the notes immediately above, let us

                * take the case of some 20 valiant, incorruptible men and women who have acted, said and written, in their individual ways, to defend our institutions and people from the apparent distortions the Administration, lead by the President, is doing to them;

                * agree on the wisdom that these 20 are saying or writing; also that this is shared by those outside of TSH and not part of the rabid supporters of the Administration.

                I then take the cue from Vergel Santos line in JP’s first link on Santos — Who will stop him? What will he stop at? to ask what may reasonably be done with these 20 valiant men, as a starting point, without provoking the kind of backlash to make the situation worse? One, is of course, go on with what is being done in the hope that there will be others who will not be silent anymore. After all it is said that a tyrant is effective only if he continues to sow fear in the sea of people. History records the fate of tyrants when the mass — for one reason or another — sheds off this fear.

              • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

                Bilib ako kay Vergel. Incorruptible yan. Ang galing ng values niya. Idol talaga.

              • mcgll says:

                Thank you Will and Juana Pilipinas for checking his credentials available online. Vergel is a fearless man of strong principles and unqualified love for country and countrymen. When he writes, one can be sure everything he writes about and says on TV interviews (live or taped), are based on verifiable facts. He is instrumental in giving the background on the reliability of Matobato’s revelations about DDS. Maybe Will can interview Vergel for TSH, if he has not yet done so. Will makes everything so easy to understand.

              • Another Filipino who sees straight and thinks straight: Rachel A. G. Reyes. Writing for Manila Times must be hard for someone who have her heart and mind in the right place. Dr. Reyes is a ray of sunshine in a hostile environment.

                http://www.manilatimes.net/author/rachel-reyes/

                http://www.manilatimes.net/big-lies-deafening-silences/352839/

                “…But these are perilous times for crusaders on the side of truth. Big lies and deafening silences are killing civilized discourse in our country. They are also killing people.”

                “Duterte’s lies are of a different order. First, they are backed up by the full weight of executive power. Second, they are spread, like a disease, by his cheerleaders, sycophants, and attack dogs. Third, they intimidate, instill fear, and sow terror. Fourth, and most dangerous of all, they demonstrate his unquestionable power.”

                You can tell that the Editor did not format her original article. Most of the comments are horrendous too but the lady does not miss a beat. Padayon, Dr. Reyes! (New word I learned from CHR Gascon and Kuya Will).

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      You’re welcome, Edgar. The chief engineer shows what’s under the hood.

  7. Edgar Lores says:

    *******
    Please release my comment.
    *****

  8. Jenni Bulan says:

    Will, maraming maraming salamat. Mababaw ang luha ko. Ang galing mong mag-basa at isulat ito sa napakadaling intindihing paraan. Mula Kita-Kita movie review hanggang kay Chair Chito…Saludo ako! 🙌🏼

    Tuloy ang laban sa ma-prinsipyong pamamaraan. 🥂🇵🇭

  9. josephivo says:

    Of topic.

    Drug-induced deaths per million people ages 15 to 64:
    Portugal 6
    Belgium 9
    Germany 22
    Britain 60
    USA 312!!!

    (multiply these figures by 100 to make them comparable for the Philippines or 600 a year on a Portuguese level, 31.200 of an American level. Note that these figures are totals of overdoses, drug related violence…)

    The difference? Portugal is the most liberal in dealing with drug users, USA the most repressive. The Portuguese user population dropped by 75% since the end of the “war on drugs” approach and the decriminalization of users 15 years ago. Needle related HIV cases dropped from 50% to 5% of all HIV cases!

    Such a pity that the president here beliefs his own juicy fake news more than hard scientific facts. And the costs? Huge increase for health care workers, but an even more dramatic decrease in policing, prosecution, incarceration costs … and what is the value of 1 life or 30.000 lifes?

    For more see https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/22/opinion/sunday/portugal-drug-decriminalization.html?hpw&rref=opinion&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well

    • Edgar Lores says:

      *******
      The statistics speak for themselves.

      Still and all, I can understand addiction — we can all see it in some measure in ourselves — but I am puzzled why some relapse after many years of being free.

      In the article, a relapsed addict says it’s like facing Mike Tyson. But if you had been in a bout with Tyson and he used you to wipe the floor, why would you get into the ring with him again?
      *****

      • josephivo says:

        Not all brains are wired in the same way, some easily trigger diabetes, some addictions and some a very selfish, childish behavior as Trump’s brain seems to do.

        Why do we fight some with guns, some with pills and others some see as needed to safe the white race?

        But luckily some understood why we agreed on a set of common human rights proven to limit extreme reactions of fellow citizens.

    • NHerrera says:

      I read the link. Except for US, the countries listed in the link are part of the 30 countries included in the membership of

      EMCDDA = European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction

      More details are shown for the countries in

      http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/edr2017_en

      It will be nice if there is such an organization as EMCDDA in Asia where a common set of definitions and methodology make the statistics comparable.

      • NHerrera says:

        Since it is rather a slow day, I am posting this technical item.

        I lined up in two column of numbers the drug-induced deaths per million (in the link of Josephivo) and the corresponding GDP per capita.

        I show the results in the diagram below.

        * The points in blue are the Deaths per million versus the GDP per capita in USD. With all the points considered, the correlation coefficient = 0.22, corresponding to the red trend line of the chart. Not a significant correlation.

        * Taking out the two outliers — US and Luxembourg — the correlation coefficient becomes 0.64 corresponding to the black trend line. Not good but perhaps significant.

        A CONJECTURE FROM THIS RESULT

        At least for the West European and Scandinavian countries in the list — Portugal, France, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Finland, Denmark, Britain, Ireland, Norway, Sweden — after taking out the outlier, US and Luxembourg, this suggests to me that countries whose average citizens have more money as reflected in the GDP per capita, indulge in more drugs causing addiction and deaths to some as reflected in the statistics.

        Of course the comment I make is based on the subset of people in the list. I cannot say anything about people in other countries.

        https://imgur.com/a/zoG1g

  10. Gemino H. Abad says:

    MANY THANKS for this article! With Chito, we must stand our ground on freedom and human dignity!

  11. karlgarcia says:

    Cayertano had the audacity to tell the UN that security and human righs go hand in hand and that the world is being misinformed by fake news.
    Well he is correct on the fake news part.
    He maybe correct in someway that human security is a human right, but how can you be secure if you get scarred for life on witnessing some one get executed.

  12. andrewlim8 says:

    Singapore Straits Times carried Randy David’s column on”Duterte As Purveyor of Fake News.”

    http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/duterte-as-purveyor-of-fake-news-philippine-daily-inquirer-columnist

    Singaporeans should also note that Duterte has inadvertently confirmed that EJKs is a POLICY of his govt when he said that he has ordered the police to kill his son if he is found to be involved in illegal drugs.

    • NHerrera says:

      Very well articulated piece by Randy David.

      When the president of a country seizes upon the gaps opened up by the growing relativization of truth to invent an outright lie, what does it do to the nation’s highest seat of governmental authority? I believe that, at the very least, it inflicts a serious damage on the covenant between the state and its citizens — a relationship based on trust.

      But, more than this, when the president himself becomes the purveyor of fake news, facts alone will not be sufficient to counter the falsehood or outright disinformation. Mr. Duterte has been able to make full use of the popularity he enjoys to legitimize the violent and brutal aspects of his war on drugs.  He cites questionable figures and theories of drug addiction to justify his brutal approach. Yet it seems almost futile to argue with him by citing contrary data and theories. Like President Donald Trump of the United States, he revels in attacking mainstream media organizations that do not share his view of reality.

      This fight ultimately has to be waged in the internet itself by digital activists who refuse to have their reality defined by trolls that can neither spell right nor write grammatically, that resort to exclamation points to call attention, and that, most importantly, paint a world we cannot recognize.

  13. popoy says:

    also A FIGHT ABOUT A HUMAN RIGHT

    Eche Bucheche of a Country’s Flag

    A Country and its people
    Is known worldwide by its Flag.
    It’s a piece of expensive Cloth and
    Sometimes of printed hard paper.
    It is an upper arm patch of pride,
    Of legal authority and superiority
    Over bad and evil behaviour.

    The Flag is not sacrosanct like a law
    That any human values can not be above it
    Which can deny people
    Their sacred democratic rights.
    It is just a flag, ceremonial and symbolic.

    A country’s Flag is like marble or
    Bronze statue which can
    be burned or toppled down
    And smashed into pieces,
    It’s ONLY an INERT symbol
    Of a people’s reverence of everything
    In the past and present they hold dear,
    will fight and die for.

    DISRESPECT of the Flag can be
    OKAY and encouraged as potent
    Tool to assert and defend the
    inalienable right of free expression.

    It’s never been tried before
    But it could draw blood
    To use an endeared flag
    Against an oppressive behaviour
    And policy of a detested president.

    To kneel before a country’s flag
    In reverence of disrespect reaches
    The apex of the twisted eche bucheche
    By minions of the fattened establishment
    Of POLITICAL CORRECTNESS.

    The flag of course and after all
    is only the country’s soul
    Only to the believers and faithful.
    September 25, 2017.

    WHAT IS THE POINT? (that’s shouting already Eh).
    How you treat your flag defines and refines the
    Character of your citizenship, your reason for being.

    https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=the+flag+raising+at+iwo+jima&FORM=IARRTH&ufn=raising+the+flag+on+iwo+jima&stid=4d8310a3-f693-30ba-018c-5b796b3dd376&cbn=EntityAnswer&cbi=0&FORM=IARRTH

    • Which reminds me of a photo I saw yesterday of a naked Esther Uson, clad only in a tattoo or painting of the Philippine flag.

      The Philippines is more strict on some symbolism than the US, as I think about the restrictions on how the National Anthem is sung. We would never have had Jimi Hendrix wailing a soulful/rock rendition as he did in the US at, my, was it Woodstock? A flag or a song can be like a good Constitution or hero or speech (Martin Luther King’s “Dream” speech), connecting with the pleasures and excitement and loyalty of a precious union.

      • popoy says:

        Amen to your comment TSOH. In 1967 in a Piccadilly cinema I saw young Brits stayed put on their seats while the National Anthem was played. Saw lots of Union Jacks grocery and supermarket bags carried around Oxford circus. On TV I saw many country flags burned gleefully by protesters. Not once was I lucky enough to see the Stars and Stripes burned by unruly white or coloured Americans.

    • popoy says:

      MORE ECHE BUCHECHE?

      If your forbears, your family have fought for flag and country before does not give you valid reason to be on the side of those whites or coloured people who disrespect your country’s flag.

      There are many more effective and courageous ways to protest and fight against oppression and divisive government policies, why pick on the National Anthem and the country’s flag?

      Because they were your friends, because they supported your candidacy with their millions must not mean they can condone and support disrespect of the country’s flag for reasons of political correctness.

      No amount of service to the country, even heroism should and could justify disrespect to a country’s flag. Disrespect to the flag by challenged persons might be forgivable but it is NOT OKAY.

      Just ask the monk warrior!

      • NHerrera says:

        Popoy,

        There are many more things that we will see or read in our twilight years which is unsettling, here, in the US and elsewhere.

        Even if the act is unsettling, the burning or destruction of the American Flag is not a red line that cannot be crossed:

        The Supreme Court has ruled twice that destruction of the American flag is protected by the Constitution, specifically the First Amendment’s protection of free speech …

        One of the staunchest defenders of the decisions, and a key vote in favor of both, was conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who was widely praised by Republicans after his death in February 2016, including by Trump.

        • popoy says:

          Justice Scalia was vacationing in a friends cottage but he did not use his
          CPAP machine the night he died. There’s an opposite as well as limit to
          everything. Freedoms and human rights is continuum that ends somewhere
          defined by human reason.

          And yes, the RED LINE can be used to demonized even a POTUS.

      • popoy says:

        Okay, All Right, the protesters are absolutely right. Let it be. They can protest all they like while the Star Spangled Banner is played while they honor the Star and Stripes. They can do what ever they like, like kneeling, in staying in the locker rooms, walking around or doing whatever to exercise freedom of expression to protest against oppression or whatever. What a SPECTACLE to see Managers, Coaches, Referees and Players, yes even the sports fans, everybody is free to exercise their democratic freedom of protests in THE LAND OF THE FREE . . . all part of paid for entertainment. And the whole world watches shocked and awed by a model of democracy. Where preventing disrespect to the flag is a mild form of dictatorship. Is that what the POTUS and Sports America want the world to see? A resounding victory for freedom of expression that is no longer funny?

        • Trump is in a deep hole and he seems to think the way out is to dig deeper.

          • karlgarcia says:

            His people are still finding ways to tell the world and NOKOR that he never declared war and NOKOR is absurd to think that they declared war.

            • popoy says:

              Right On TSOH and Karl. The guy being bullied shouted for all to hear, He hit me. HE HIT ME, HE HIIT MEE. So the bully sock him a Pacquiao of left and right. The Chihuahua was shouting to the dog world mockingly: He is just a barking dog, a barking dog. So the Doberman morphed into a pit bull growling, bit and wagged in the air the Chihuahua into dead meat.

          • popoy says:

            TSOH, Trump dug himself into a deep hole; the media has tried and is still trying HARD to make the deep hole into a SINK HOLE. If this goes on (which is unlikely) a great people will find themselves in deep shit or sink shit.

  14. Sup says:

    Congressman de Vera ( No connection to the Vera files, not smart enough.) told on AND Headstart last week that Gascon went to the office of the Speaker recently…wonder what was discussed there…After that the budget was restored.

  15. Salamat po sa article, Kuya Will.

    Salamat din po, CHR chair Chito Gascon sa inyong patuloy na pangangalaga sa karapatang pangtao ng mga Filipino. Marami na po ngayon ang nakakaunawa sa mandato ng CHR at naniniwalang importante ang inyong posisyon. Sorry po, kayo at ang CHR ay kinaladkad ng walang pakundangan ng ilang mga mambabatas sa lower House ngunit marami na po ang namulat sa kahalagahan ng inyong misyon. Sana po ay mabigyan kayo sa CHR ng prosecutorial powers para hindi kayo basta bastang binabalewala ng mga ganid sa kapangyarihan. Tutoo po ba na umayon kayo na iimbistigahan din ninyo ang mga kaso na labas sa inyong Constitutional mandate dahil sa demand ng HOR?

    Please read the link below for further reading about Atty. Chito Gascon. It was written by Lisandro Claudio for Esquire Magazine, PH in December 2016 and updated this month to reflect the recent HOR fiasco:

    “So why the hatred? My own answer is that populists need bogeymen. Hitler told Germans to fear Jews, Joseph McCarthy told Americans to fear Communists, and the Brexiteers told Britain to fear migrants. Duterte wants you to fear the drug lord, the pusher, the addict, and people that “coddle” them, i.e. the human rights advocate. Hatred for a constructed “other” consolidates support around a strong, charismatic leader, who will protect the people from an external menace. Once the hysteria begins, it is hard to dial back.”

    http://www.esquiremag.ph/long-reads/profiles-and-features/chito-gascon-beleaguered-champion-of-human-rights-a1655-20170913-lfrm2

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Walang anuman, Juana. Nagkataon lang naman na love ko magsulat at hate ko ang masasama. Enjoy lang naman akong humawak ng keyboard which is mightier than riding in tandem. Ang sweldo ko yung makitang nakalatag ang report ko at kahit isa may magbasa. Panalong-panalo ako kasi more than one yata ang nari-reach ko. To God be the glory!

  16. andrewlim8 says:

    John Nery’s 4 steps on what to do now, after that big rally last 21 Sept

    1. Strengthen one’s own people. (give support to your advocate/heroes)

    2. Engage with potential allies. (alliance/coalition building)

    3. Neutralize the ideas of the opponents. (counter-memes, fact checking, exposes,etc)

    4. Test the limits of the system. (file cases against fake news purveyors, civil disobedience)

    http://opinion.inquirer.net/107423/after-the-rallies-what-next

    • NHerrera says:

      Just after my comment in

      NHerrera says:
      September 26, 2017 at 8:22 am,

      here comes the link to Nery’s article on what to do. I am impressed by his S-E-N-T suggestion, preceded by his note — The objective of this unified action (I wish to be clear) is not ouster; it is to undo the culture of violence, to arrest the drift toward strongman rule, to extract accountability for all the lies, all of which threaten to redefine the Filipino:

      S = Strengthen one’s own people
      E = Engage with potential allies
      N = Neutralize the ideas of the opposing side
      T = Test the limits of the system

      The strategy seems to me a sensible and practical one! Thanks for the link, Andrew.

    • Actually, I think he says stop short of civil disobedience for where we are at today. Organize, stick together, speak, act. That’s how I would short-stroke it.

      • NHerrera says:

        The suggested approach, to my mind, is a short and sweet packaging of what has to be done giving a tone of great urgency. The act part extends Nery’s SENT concept, particularly the T = Test the limits of the system. The timing and circumstance associated with the act part, understood well by the sticking-together people, I believe, is key.

  17. NHerrera says:

    Off topic

    One elderly Republican Senator, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, speaking on Trumpcare bill to replace Obamcare, has this brilliant (tongue in cheek) statement:

    “You know, I could maybe give you 10 reasons why this bill shouldn’t be considered,” … But Republicans campaigned on this so often that you have a responsibility to carry out what you said in the campaign. That’s pretty much as much of a reason as the substance of the bill.”

    Sounds like a Pacquiao to me — at least with the latter the Bible is cited in addition.

  18. popoy says:

    latest news kuno:

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/north-korea-says-it-has-the-right-to-shoot-down-us-warplanes/ar-AAsssF5?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartandhp

    my smart aleck (twisted) retort:

    Anybody can claim he has the right to shoot (kill) himself. The Catholic Church (other religion too) DIVERGED and has declared committing suicide is a sin. North Korea just told the world it now has the right to start a war and therefore been granted the right to commit suicide and blame somebody else.

  19. Chito Gascon says:

    Salamat Will sa pagsulat nito at salamat din po sa mga nagbasa, nag-iwan ng feedback, at mga nagpapalaganap… ginagampanan ko lang po tungkulin ko sang-ayon sa hudyat ng puso at konsyensa… kayo ang nagbibigay lakas at tibay ng loob sa akin upang gawin ang naka-atas sa akin… magkakasama tayo at bawat isa ay may gampanin… di lamang tayo iisa, o sampu, o labin-lima, o dalawampu… sang-ayon sa ating paninindigan iilan man tayo o marami – ang mahalaga ay bibigyan natin ng tinig ang ating tindig… sapat yan sapagkat yan ang panimula upang makamit ang katotohanan at katarungan… tuloy lang po tayo… padayon!!!

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Salamat din, Chair Gascon!

      Looked up padayon and this is what I got, by Michael Tan in Inquirer:

      “FOR A different type of new year’s greeting, I thought “Padayon!” would be a good one. It’s a term used in several Visayan languages (Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Waray and more) to mean “move on.”

      UP President Alfredo Pascual, who is Tagalog, adopted the term as a kind of clarion call for UP, often ending his speeches “Padayon, UP!” to mean “Let’s move forward, UP!” It’s a more dynamic meaning, more like the Tagalog Sulong! or the Tagalog-Spanish Abante!”

      So, Padayon!

    • kalakala says:

      sa guihapon – padayon!

  20. Jerry Garcia says:

    Not now.

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  1. […] Link to first article in series: May Mas Sasaya Pa Ba Kay Chito Gascon […]



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