Legislator urges Deped to stop using military terminology in its programs


May 28, 2012

Reference: ACT Teachers Party-List Rep. Antonio L. Tinio (0920-922-0817)


ACT Teachers Party-List Representative Antonio Tinio is calling on the Department of Education to stop using military terminology in promoting its campaigns and programs for public schools.


“Why is Deped obsessed with using military terms, such as ‘Oplan Balik-Eskewla’ and ‘Brigada Eskwela’?” he asked. “Has the Department forgotten that it’s a civilian organization and that it should be promoting a culture of peace based on justice?”


Tinio noted that the term “Oplan,” short for “Operation Plan,” is a term used in military planning. “The counterinsurgency campaigns of successive administrations are refered to as such. The Arroyo administration had ‘Oplan Bantay Laya,’ which was associated with extrajudicial killings and other gross human rights violations. The current administration has its ‘Oplan Bayanihan,’ which currently involves massive military operations in certain parts of the country. Why must the Deped refer to its preparations for the opening of the new school year as ‘Oplan Balik-Eskwela’?”


Tinio warned that Deped’s choice of language could have a huge impact on popular culture. “Does Deped want to desensitize the tens of millions of schoolchildren under its wing, as well as the public at large, to the encroachment of the military in civilian institutions, such as our schools and public spaces?”


The party-list representative pointed out that in certain areas, militarization of schools is already taking place. “The military have targeted schools and teachers for harassment, or have set up camp in school premises in far-flung areas as part of their counterinsurgency efforts. Incidents such as these have been reported in the Cordillera, Sarangani, and Surigao del Sur.”


“We challenge Deped Secretary Armin Luistro to ensure that schools are protected from the encroachments of the military,” concluded Tinio. #


Makabayan bloc sign waivers on bank accounts and assets

Joint Statement

May 30, 2012

Challenge Aquino and other officials to ‘walk the talk’ on corruption

Today, we, the members of the Makabayan partylist bloc in Congress, responding to the challenge for greater transparency and accountabiliity in government brought about in part by the Corona impeachment trial, are signing unconditional waivers allowing the Ombudsman to look into our assets and bank accounts for the purpose of investigating any report or complaint against us for graft and corruption.

As signatories to the Corona impeachment complaint and representatives of the marginalized and underrepresented sectors in Congress, we feel it is our duty and moral obligation to set an example in complying with the Constitutional mandate on public office as a public trust.

We challenge our fellow officials in government, starting with the President and his Cabinet, our colleagues in the House and the Senate, to do no less. Kapansin-pansin na hindi pa pumipirma ng waiver si Pres. Aquino at kanyang mga gabinete sa kabila ng malakas na panawagan ng taumbayan para dito. Dapat magpamalas ng halimbawa ang Pangulo at kanyang gabinete. Sign the waiver now.

We likewise demand that President Aquino apply the same zeal he had in going after Corona in pursuing plunder, ill-gotten wealth and other cases of graft and corruption and human rights violations against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her conspirators. The impeachment of Corona is proof that all it takes is political will to clean up government.

What is unfortunate is that the President has shown a reluctance to pursue such cases against the former president and has to be forced by circumstances and other parties to take definitive action. Note, for example, the haphazard and last-minute filing of the electoral sabotage case against Mrs. Arroyo. There is no lack of cases that can be filed against the former president if Aquino is only willing to do it.

We reiterate that the same standards of transparency and accountability and the same dogged zeal to weed out grafters witnessed in the Corona impeachment should be applied to all agencies of government.

Makabayan is a political coalition that is presently comprised of eight Philippine progressive parties: Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela, Kabataan and ACT Teachers partylist. #