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Millennials respond to the call of the times as they took over the streets during anti-Marcos rallies

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Last Friday, November 18, the Filipino people didn’t know that they were in for a big surprise from the Marcoses. Just ten days after the Supreme Court rejected all petitions challenging the proposed burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr., the public woke up to nationwide surprise, confusion, and anger because of a sudden news that, what probably can be considered as the most controversial interment in Philippine history, was already happening in front of their eyes.

This sudden news also resulted to nationwide rallies at the same day where people who opposed the burial of the late dictator at the LNMB gathered. The Metro Manila rally held at the People Power Monument was held at 5P.M. on November 18 with the crowd mostly being students from the University of the Philippines Diliman, Miriam College, and Ateneo de Manila University.

Perhaps the attendees of the rallies were what also came as a surprise to the public. No one thought that the Millennials, the generation known for giving high importance and attention to the latest gadgets, foodstagram, #FeedGoals, and #TravelGoals, would also be the people who would spend hours standing in the rain with placards saying “Make busina for hustisya.”

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The crowd was not only composed of students from UP, Miriam, and Ateneo but was also attended by students from different schools across Metro Manila. Despite the difference in their Alma Matter, these students gathered together and responded to the call of the times.

Inquirer shared an interview via email with James Alih, a 24 year-old student at San Beda College-Manila, who was one of the people who spent hours walking and standing, amplifying the protest.

James was asked if he considered the risk of being injured if things get out of hand given the presence of the anti-riot police in front of them and he said: “The greater risk was the danger of being remembered in history as one of those who bowed their heads and let such ridicule be committed against our people.”

“I think that was the only consideration most of the young individuals had at that time. Marching on the streets to Edsa, for that particular purpose, allowed me to connect with my heroes, Ka Pepe Diokno, Ka Jovi Salonga, Sen. Lorenzo Tañada and others who struggled during the Marcos dictatorship,” he said.

“That brief moment we had on Edsa, denouncing the burial of the late dictator, the rhetoric, the grief, the disbelief and the conviction in our unity and cause, was but borrowed magic from those great Filipinos who fought for our democracy.”

When asked about his opinion about millennials not being politically conscious before November 18, James answered: “I think that’s right, partly because the youth felt that the country was still plagued by corruption, which repelled them presumably due to their idealistic outlook.”

“But that did not bar the youth from claiming their stake in our political processes. I think the demonstration on Nov. 18 was a clear expression that this time they are willing to commit whatever it takes to regain their place in influencing decisions that eventually affect them.”

James was also asked if he was willing to keep marching in the streets to support a cause.

“The willingness is there, but the real challenge is to innovate. We must contemplate the lessons of the past, particularly how government in Marcos’ time used the ‘radical’ demonstrations as one of the excuses for declaring martial law. If our elders fail to reflect on our history and blindly allow Marcos to be buried in the LNMB, then we must not return the favor by forgetting this valuable lesson. We must be the voice of sobriety… if the streets once again call upon the youth, then so be it, we shall answer.”

Cecilia Ejercito, a 26-year-old digital account manager, shared her rally experience through Inquirer with an article entitled “On Edsa on a Friday night.” In it she quoted an acquaintance who told her: “’Today we divide who among us has stood on the right side of history.’ That drove me to Edsa.”

Some of the greatest protests that shook the world were protest that were led by students – the protests in Paris and Ohio in the late ‘60s, the Diliman Commune and First Quarter Storm in Manila in early ‘70s, and to some extent, the Edsa 1 in ’86 and Edsa 2 in 2001.

While Millennials are being perceived by older generations as the generation that cares more about their cyberworld and social media popularity than current events and relevant news, the November 18 event proved that Millennials has no problem juggling their #goals and fighting for what they believe is right.

If anything, this shocking burial proved one thing for this generation: when the streets call on them, the Millennials shall answer.

Source: (lifestyle.inquirer.net)

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Netizens slam Duterte for saying women ‘could not stand threats and intimidation’

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President Rodrigo Duterte drew flak for another controversial comment involving women after he remarked on May 24 that women “could not stand threats and intimidation.”

Duterte said that while he believed in women’s competence, it does not necessarily ring true in all aspects of life.

“I believe in the woman, the competence and capability, pero hindi lahat sa buhay dapat.Hindi ka, hindi, hindi. Dapat lang. It’s not appropriate when you cannot stand threats and intimidation,” he said in his May 24 speech.

He also said that women should be “prim and proper” and talked about his reservation in sending women police and soldiers to the field because unlike men, they did not grow up with a mindset that involves violence.

“Ang mga babae, sundalo pati pulis, ayaw ko ‘yan sa bukid. Unlike men kami, maliit pa lang, suntukan, bakbakan, barilan. And we grew up with a sort of a mindset na sometimes prone to violence. Itong mga babae, prim and proper man ‘yan, isang tingin lang sa nanay niyan, wala na tunaw na ‘yan. Tapos gawin mong pulis, ipaaway mo doon. Naku,” Duterte remarked.

Netizens then took to social media to react to Duterte’s most recent statements, making #BabaeAko trend again on Twitter.

“Mr. President, you just horrifyingly disrespected your own mother who bravely fought against the Marcos dictatorship. She withstood threats and intimidation. Siya ay babae! #BabaeAko,” a Twitter user remarked.

Forensic expert Dr. Raquel Fortun spoke out, too, saying “I am threatened and intimidated a lot. All my life. Don’t me. #BabaeAko.”

So did film and theater actress Chai Fonacier, who said, “Encouraging women — and I mean including those who identify as women — and our friends from the entire spectrum to share your #BabaeAko statements to fight the misogyny that the President and his ilk normalize through their behavior. Make them remember the feminine strength.”

KABATAAN Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago also reacted, saying she refused to be stereotyped.

Former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay urged other Filipinos to protest against Duterte’s misogynistic statements.

Other Twitter users weighed in on the issue.

Duterte’s previous misogynistic remarks

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His remarks in his speech on May 24 seemed to have sought to explain another controversial remark he made on May 16 when he said that he did not want a politician, especially a woman, to become the next Ombudsman.

“Mag-nominate sila, pero I choose, but gusto ko ‘yung bilib ang tao sa integrity niya. Of course it could not be a politician, lalo na hindi babae,” he said during a chance interview.

This gave birth to the launching of the #BabaeAko movement on social media on May 21 by women activists and other people who also want to protest Duterte’s misogynistic and sexist statements.

One of  the women who joined the #BabaeAko campaign was former Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo who said, “Akala ko taumbayan ang boss ni Duterte. Yun pala sina Marcos, Gloria, Trump at China. Para sa bayang makatarungan at malaya, lalaban ako.”

In February, he was also slammed for telling his audience of former NPA rebels that he told his soldiers to shoot female rebels in the vagina.

Sources: ( rappler.comphilstar.com )

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New DOT chief to ask Montano why he rushed official New York engagement to watch Broadway show

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Newly installed Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said she plans on talking with Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) COO Cesar Montano to ask for his side on certain accusations that were hurled against him.

Among these accusations came from an Abante report where Montano was said to have rushed a speaking engagement staged by the DOT in New York to watch the Broadway musical show “Hamilton.”

DOT reportedly launched the Philippine Tourism Presentation and Dinner Reception on May 9 to showcase Philippine tourism and fashion at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York. Montano was introduced as the event’s keynote speaker, but he was said to have only spoken for a bit before hurriedly leaving the venue, disappointing the guests, which also included US officials.

Montano was said to have been invited to the event in behalf of the now-resigned Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo. He was also named as one of the two hosts, the other being Teo, of the said event.

In reaction to this report about Montano, Puyat said she would talk to Montano as well as the Tourism attache and other DOT officials who attended the event to verify the accusation in the report mentioned above.

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Puyat said that she would investigate into the “Buhay Carinderia” program that the TPB is set to implement. This was after Philippine Star Boo Chanco accused Montano of issuing P80-million worth of three checks to the event proponent and organizer.

“I still don’t have the papers. I will be asking [and] will be arranging a meeting with Mr. Cesar Montano to ask about ‘yung mga nabasa ko sa ‘Buhay Carinderia’ – kung totoo ba na walang bidding ‘yung P80 million na advance,” Puyat said on May 15.

“I’m planning to talk to him and ask his side. I want to ask all those who were there if it actually happened,” Puyat added.

In March 2017, TPB employees filed a complaint against Montano for his alleged corruption and mismanagement of the agency. These include hiring friends and relatives, using TPB’s funds for personal trips, and showing incompetence in fulfilling his obligations as the agency’s COO.

Sources: ( tnt.abante.com.phphilstar.comrappler.com )

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Eldest Tulfo vows to help Wanda clear her name, berates ‘black sheep’ Ben over controversial P60-M DOT ad deal

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Inquirer columnist Ramon Tulfo spoke up about the controversy involving his siblings, now resigned Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo and hosts Ben and Erwin Tulfo, over the P60 million tourism ad deal.

The eldest Tulfo wrote in his Inquirer column on May 10 that while President Rodrigo Duterte himself advised the Tulfo family to avoid talking to the media, he took it upon himself as the family’s acting patriarch to tell the story behind the controversy.

First up, Ramon blamed Teo for not hiring smart staff members who could have advised her against inking a deal with PTV 4, where one of the Tulfo brothers, Ben, was a blocktimer.

As a blocktimer, Ben pays for his TV show’s airtime on the state-run channel.

According to Ramon, Wanda was only complying with President Duterte’s injunction for his Cabinet secretaries to support PTV 4, adding that she did not know Ben’s company would get most of the multimillion advertising contract with DOT.

He also hit Ben, whom he called a “black sheep” with a “middle child” syndrome as the fifth child out of 10 siblings, for signing the P60-million advertising contract with PTV 4 despite knowing that there would be a conflict of interest on Wanda’s part.

Ramon also said that Wanda still tried to save Ben, who insisted on his innocence amid the controversy, leading her to resign from her post. He also explained that Wanda seemed to have forgotten the fact that her husband was on the board of director of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (Tieza), a part of DOT, when Duterte appointed her as tourism chief. He added that it should have been up to her husband to step down from his post upon his wife’s appointment.

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In the same column, he also slammed Wanda’s lawyer, Ferdinand Topacio, whom he said did not even consult the Tulfo brothers on returning the P60-million funds from the ad deal. He also described the lawyer as “all talk,” a counsel who’s only focused on gaining publicity for himself.

Unlike what has been previously reported about Wanda resigning out of delicadeza amid the controversy, Ramon let it slip that he commended President Duterte for “sacking Wanda,” prompting some people to ask whether Wanda was fired instead of resigned.

Before he ended his column, he vowed to support “Wanda’s fight to clear her name, but not Ben’s.”
Wanda resigned on May 8 to show delicadeza and to spare everyone, especially Duterte, from the pain caused by the controversy, according to her lawyer.

The issue started with the Commission on Audit’s report showing the DOT paying P60 million worth of commercials to PTV 4, which in turn, tapped Ben’s Bitag Media Unlimited Inc. to air the tourism ads during Ben and Erwin’s show “Kilos Pronto.”

Malacañang said that Teo’s resignation does not mean that she is off the hook since the Ombudsman is still looking into her and other government officials involved in the controversial ad deal.

Sources: ( inquirer.netnews.abs-cbn.com , nnphilippines.com )

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