Statement on filing my candidacy for the Senate of the Republic of the Philippines

Oct 13

Statement on filing my candidacy for the Senate of the Republic of the Philippines

When I resigned from the House of Representatives last March in protest against President Aquino’s double standards in his good governance policy and his refusal to accept command responsibility for the Mamasapano tragedy, I thought I was saying “goodbye to all that.” I was looking forward to a quieter life devoted to researching and writing a book on one of my favorite subjects: the current crisis of the global capitalist economy Over the last three months, however, an ever widening network of groups and individuals has snowballed into a movement to get me to run either for the presidency or the Senate. That draft has proven to be implacable and irresistible. I have accepted their challenge to run for the Senate. I am running to promote an electoral insurgency against politics-as-usual, injustice, inequality, and corruption. I am running because people demand a representative with high ethical standards, who’ll go to hell for them, and who won’t bullshit them like most politicians do. I am running because because I hate power and the only ones you can trust with power are those who hate power. I am running because I can no longer stand by and allow our people to be constantly fooled, betrayed, and devoured by the very people they elect to public office. I am running because we need to dismantle this awful system of traditional politics in which our people are trapped. I am running to oppose a foreign policy that makes our poor country hostage to the machinations of aggressive superpowers. I am running to help liberate our economy from neoliberal policies imposed by a global capitalist system that has condemned our people to greater poverty and inequality even as it enriches our greedy elite and foreign corporations. I am running to end the criminal debt slavery, to which our sellout elite is complicit, that turns over 34 per cent of the annual government budget to insatiable foreign and domestic banks and creditors. I am running on a platform that will, among others, promote security of tenure for workers; complete agrarian reform; promote and protect the rights of women, indigenous peoples, and the LGBT community; protect the rights and advance the interests of our millions of...

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Imperial Argument: Washington debates ‘Pivot to Asia’ strategy

Feb 27

Over the last two years, the Obama administration has executed what the president has termed the “Pivot to Asia” strategy, whereby the US’ global military force posture is being reconfigured to focus on the Asia Pacific region as Washington’s central front. Movement has been rapid, with Washington expanding its naval exercises with Japan, sending marines to Australia, conducting military exercises in the Philippines with its allies, and supporting the negotiating positions of the Philippines and Vietnam against China’s on the dispute over the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, or what Filipinos now call the West Philippine Sea.  60 per cent of the US Navy’s strength has been deployed to the Western Pacific. Containment of China is the aim of the Pivot strategy, and this has drawn criticism from liberal critics of the policy like Robert Ross, a professor of Political Science at Boston University and a China hand.  Writing in November-December issue of Foreign Affairs, Ross acknowledges that China’s actions in the South China Sea, including claiming the whole area as Chinese domestic territorial waters, come across as aggressive.  However, the Pivot, he claims, is based on “a fundamental misreading of China’s leadership, who are now given to “appeasing an increasingly nationalist public with symbolic gestures of force.” For Ross, China’s increasingly bellicose rhetoric stems less from expansionist intent than from the insecurities brought about by high-speed growth, followed by economic crisis.   Long dependent for its legitimacy on delivering economic growth, domestic troubles related to the global financial crisis have left the Communist Party leadership groping for a new ideological justification, and it has found this in nationalism.   Countering its rhetoric with a military cordon sanitaire, says Ross, would deepen the “insecurities” of Beijing, leading to a truly belligerent posture on its part, heightening the possibility of an outbreak of conflict while losing China’s cooperation in managing conflicts such as the crisis in Syria. The riposte to Ross came in the form of an article in the succeeding issue of Foreign Affairs authored by Shawn Brimley and Ely Ratner of the Center for New American Security.   While not an official response of the Obama administration, the Brimley and Ratner article brings together in once piece what Obama’s...

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How to Support Walden and Akbayan Partylist?

Apr 20

The Philippine parliament needs more representatives from parties like Akbayan! and more people like Walden.  But given the other side’s tremendous advantage in terms of resources and their propensity for cheating and violence in the dirty world of Philippine politics, we need all the support we can get to introduce Walden and his party to the broader public.    Here’s how you can help us build our supporter network:   1)     Join sorties 2)     Join the AKBAYAN team 3)     Join/plan an event 4)     Help disseminate campaign materials 5)     Make a donation     Or if there are other ways by which you wish to help Akbayan's campaign, please let us know.   We can be reached at...

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