Wednesday ∗ 17 Jul 2013

dear Bistek,

you know that is a term of endearment, for anyone at all who grew up watching you on TV. you are rarely seen as one of them celebrities who should not have turned politician, which does mean you have more credibility as public servant. it helps that you never seemed too gung-ho about being mayor, and you waited for the right time to become so. you seemed more decent than most, is what i mean to say. but then again, what has happened since your May reelection?

you know i’m against your demolition of the informal settler communities in QC, especially since whether you admit it or not, these communities provide the city itself with its contractual workers and cheap labor, if not you yourself with a bunch of voters.

but to now refuse to allow militant groups and the public in general, to peacefully assemble at Batasan Road corner Commonwealth Avenue, as we are wont to do for this president’s and every president’s State of the Nation Address (SONA), just reeks of some good ol’ power tripping, local government style.

because there is no reason for the disapproval of this permit to rally. your government says this is all about the traffic this assembly will cause; your QC Police Department insists there is a security threat.

the question of course is from whom? anyone who has been to any SONA rally would know that it is one of the most organized assemblies you can be part of. there is no danger to life or security threat, other than that provided for us by a local police in full force, heavily armed and ready-for-battle.

you want a security threat? go to the SONA rally and tell me which side of the fence is ready to hurt the other. tell me in whose hands provocation lies when rallyists at some point will latag on the street and take a seat where they can, and policemen hold batutas and truncheons in their hands?

seriously Bistek. you know this to be true.

but also you must know that this denial of the right to assemble where we must, where we should, where it is relevant on SONA day, paints you as nothing but complicit in the narrative that PNoy sells of nation. because you must know, Bistek, that the SONA is really only about the true good beautiful according to government, and in that sense, allowing us to assemble is the perfect counterpoint, the only proof, that what PNoy says, is far far from the state of the nation as we experience it every day.

denying us our right to rally, Bistek, tells us that you are nothing but as yellow as the gown Kris will wear on SONA day. you are nothing but complicit in the task of painting this nation to be developed and developing. worse, you (and PNoy in that sense) are no better than Imelda who, in the task of selling the beauty of nation, would rather cover its poverty up, if not you know, trample on peoples’ rights.

c’mon Bistek. you can do better this. your treatment of the informal settler communities is bad enough. why mess with our basic right to peacefully assemble? why treat us like kids who should be happy with being allowed to rally in the park near the cityhall, as if we didn’t know that that would render the rally irrelevant?

in the end what you are disallowing is our right to freely talk about the state of the nation, as we know it, as we live it, as we suffer through it, every day. that is, you are refusing us our right to raise our fists at the Batasan Pambansa, where PNoy will be talking about us as a nation, and talking about “development” and “change” with a straight face. you are trampling on our right to scream at government, as loudly as we can, about the travails of being Filipino at this point in time.

we say of course that one of the great things about being Filipino is that we live in a democracy. prove that to be true, Bistek. prove it now.

Posted in: aktibismo, bayan, gobyerno, komentaryo, lugar, pulitika

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