duterte kissIn his recent vagrant display of machismo, Duterte kissed a married OFW woman in front of overseas Filipino workers in his visit to Seoul, Korea.

Duterte's sexism is nothing new. Like any abuser, his behavior is on a repetitive high. It happened when he was mayor and it is no surprise that he has brought his rotten behavior as the highest public official of the land. Like his Drug War Killing mania, his kissing spree is a macho power trip. An attempt to beg for affirmation among his barkada of fellow bastos and thugs. 

It is the height of impunity against women and against all of us. Women are viewed as weak and as objects. Men are taught that it is normal to be aggressive and force themselves to women. It is toxic, cowardly, and dangerous. 

We have long shouted this. Kabastusan is not love of land and people. Kabastusan is cowardice and insecurity projected as hate and intimidation. Kabastusan is a fragile sense of power over women. 

Mr. Duterte, it is only a matter of time until our rage and anger will catapult you out of the power we have granted to you. We say enough! Filipinos deserve better!###

Coastal 2The Fisherfolk Network for Coastal Cleanup—composed of Pambansang Kalipunan ng mga Samahan sa Kanayunan (PKSK), Pangisda-Pilipinas, Ecowaste Coalition, Akbayan Fisherfolk Caucus, and Center for Agrarian Reform, Empowerment, and Transformation (CARET)—held a commemoration of multiple national and international observances for advocacies. These are the Ocean Month celebrated in May, the World Environment Day on June 5, the World Ocean Day on June 8, and the National Fisherfolk Day held in May 31.

From cleaning to campaigning

The groups initiated a different kind of coastal cleanup at the Manila Bay, particularly along the coastline of Barangay BASECO, by including several calls to the government concerning environmental protection and the promotion of the welfare of fisherfolk in the country.

Some of the policies that the network is pushing for are the establishment of the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, the National Land Use Act (NLUA), and the Integrated Coastal Management Law.

national idQuote: Gio Tingson, Akbayan Spokesperson

Akbayan calls for the public to reject the National ID System and be active citizens in protecting our democracy against laws that threaten our safety. 

The National ID System, contrary to belief that it's a modernizing tool, is an outdated concept. Even in different policy dialogues around the world, decentralized data is the outlook making this law an expensive, irrelevant tool.

The National ID System Law's intent is to tighten internal security, which under this administration could be easily used to turn against ordinary citizens. Previous versions of the ID system from the Ramos and Arroyo administrations have been also been questioned for encroaching on people's rights to privacy. The Duterte administration, riddled with human rights violations, can target anyone with this system of collated data. 

rejectFarmer leaders of Akbayan Party-List trooped to the Senate gates on Tuesday to urge members of the powerful Commission on Appointments (CA) to reject John Castriciones as the Secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).

Members of Akbayan brought giant thumbs-down signs to the Senate to show their disapproval over the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to appoint Castriciones.

Akbayan demanded the CA to reject Castriciones for his anti-farmer stances, some of which came out during the hearings of the Commission.

In previous speeches, Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin pointed out Castriciones' flaws including continuing the cancellation of Certificate of Land Ownership Awards, his inaction in installing agrarian reform beneficaries to their land, and his approval of land conversion which is a deadly scheme against farmers. 

"Naniniwala kami na ang dapat maupo bilang kalihim ng DAR ay mga lider na may malasakit para sa mga magsasaka at hindi matatakot na tumindig para sa hustisya na tatlong dekada na nating ipinaglalaban," Sumilao farmer leader and Akbayan nominee Yoyong Merida said.

"Malinaw ang panawagan namin sa mga miyembro ng CA: huwag maging traydor sa mga magsasaka. Piliin lamang ang isang kalihim na papanig sa interes ng mga magsasaka na siyang mandato ng DAR," Merida added.

Marawi rubbleAkbayan Party-List continues to call on President Rodrigo Duterte to lift Martial Law in Mindanao. On the anniversary of its declaration, there are unaddressed cases of human rights violations in the region and a lagging pace of rehab efforts in Marawi.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on December 2017 raised reports of human rights violations in Mindanao including extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances, torture during interrogations, military harassment, and profiling in evacuation camps.

During a bicameral session in July last year, Samira Tomawis-Gutoc of Ranao Rescue Center reported a 20-year old young person with autism who was held in gunpoint while being accused of joining the Maute group. There were also reports of Muslim women made to strip naked during searches.

We also call for an investigation on the red flags raised in the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) report on Task Force Bangon Marawi, the interagency government body tasked to rehabilitate Marawi after the 2017 siege. PCIJ reports of fatal issues that are slowing down Marawi rehab including the absence of a master plan, flawed guidelines on awarding project contracts, involvement of anomalous contractors in the rehabilitation project, and a rebuilding process that has sidelined Marawi residents with few consultations and unresolved land rights claims.