I join the Honorable Senior Deputy Minority Leader [Bayan Muna] Congressman Neri Colmenares in condemning and denouncing the decision pertaining to the investigation into the Mamasapano encounter.
Mr. Speaker, malinaw na malinaw po ang kaisahan ng dalawang komite [House Committees on Public Safety and Order at Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity] na nag-imbestiga noong isang linggo na ipagpapatuloy bukas at sa Miyerkules ang mga hearing. Totoo na naging magulo ang kondukta ng hearing dito sa House. Pero totoo rin na sa kabila nito ay maraming mga mahahalagang impormasyon at mabibigat na tanong na dapat maitanong na lumabas sa hearing na iyon, lalong lalo na sa papel ni Presidente Aquino mismo sa pangyayari sa Mamasapano.
Isang nakabitin na tanong, Mr. Speaker, ay ang usapin ng pag-uusap ni General Purisima at ni Pangulong Aquino sa meeting nila sa Bahay Pangarap [noong January 9, 2015]. Pinatatanong ng komite kay General Purisima: Ano ba ang pinag-usapan ninyo ni Pangulong Aquino? At kung matatandaan po ninyo, Mr. Speaker, binigyan ng komite si General Purisima ng hanggang bukas para ilinaw kay Pangulong Aquino kung mailalahad ba niya ang napag-usapan nila o magtatago sa executive privilege si Pangulong Aquino.
Mahahalagang tanong po iyan, Mr. Speaker, ngunit dahil kinansela ang hearing, hindi natin maririnig ang sagot. Kaya ngayon, ang mga nakabiting tanong ay itatanong ko na nang diretso kay Pangulong Aquino–Pangulong Aquino, sasagutin mo ba ang mga tanong na ito, ilalahad mo ba ang buong impormasyon kaugnay sa iyong kapananagutan sa Mamasapano? Ano ang mga pinag-usapan niyo ni General Purisima sa Bahay Pangarap? Sasagutin mo ba ito, o magtatago ka sa executive privilege?
Hindi lang ito, hindi lang ang pagkakaturol sa papel at responsibilidad ni President Aquino ang nabitin ngayong natigil na ang nasabing House investigation. Ngayon, nasa balita na, sa headline ng Philippine Daily Inquirer ang papel ng US dito sa operasyon sa Mamasapano. “US behind Oplan Exodus”–Iyan po ang malinaw na report ng Philippine Daily Inquirer ngayon at ayon sa isang source na opisyal mismo ng SAF. Ang opisyal na ito mismo ang nagkumpirma sa napakalalim na involvement ng US mismo sa operasyon sa Mamasapano, sa pagbigay ng intelligence information, sa paglabas ng pondo para mabili ang intelligence information, sa pag-command mismo ng operasyon. Binanggit ang pangalan ng Amerikano, a certain Allan Konz, na nasa tactical command post daw sa Shariff Aguak at nagbibigay ng instructions sa mga tropa ng Special Action Force sa mga sandaling iyon.
Mr. Speaker, obligasyon ng Kongresong ito na alamin ang katotohan ng mga ulat na ito, Mr. Speaker. Ngunit dahil sa desisyon ng pamunuan ng House, natigil ang imbestigasyon. Tila binubusalan ang Kongresong ito. Hindi po tayo makakapayag, dahil ang tanging nakikinabang dito ay ang Pangulong Aquino.
Malinaw po ang sinasabi ng Konstitusyon, na isang independent and co-equal branch ang Kongresong ito, ngunit bakit tila pumapayag ang institusyong ito na mabusalan ang pagsisikap natin na ilantad ang katotohanan hinggil sa partisipasyon ng US at panghihimasok sa mga internal na usapin, law enforcement operations sa ating bayan. Bakit hinahadlangan na matunton ng Kongresong ito ang buong partisipasyon at responsibilidad ni Pangulong Aquino sa isang operasyon na nagdulot sa pagkamatay ng napakaraming Pilipino sa ngalan ng US war on terror? Kaya kaisa po ako kay Representative Colmenares sa panawagan para ituloy ang imbestigasyon.
Maaraming salamat po. ###
13 February 2015
Reference: ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio L. Tinio (09209220817)
House author urges immediate issuance of rules for law exempting bonuses from tax
The principal author of the bill exempting bonuses from tax has lauded its signing into law by President Aquino and called for its immediate implementation.
ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio, principal author of Republic Act 10653 in the House of Representatives, urged the Aquino administration, through its finance and tax chiefs, to immediately issue implementing rules for the new law, which increases the ceiling on tax-exempt bonuses from P30,000 to P82,000.
Tinio said that its benefits need to be felt by the people, especially low- and middle-income earners, as soon as possible. He explained that the law will “enable lower- and middle-income earners to take home to their families more of their hard-earned money.”
“We hope that the Department of Finance will not drag its feet in issuing the implementing rules,” said Tinio, noting that the DOF and Bureau of Internal Revenue had vehemently opposed the measure.
“The DOF and BIR should no longer complain about revenue loss. There will be no revenue loss in the long run because we’ll only be giving the people more of the income that they rightfully earn, and in turn, they will have more to spend for their families. Greater spending power for the majority of the people will be good for the economy as a whole.” #
REP. ANTONIO L. TINIO
ON THE FILIPINO-AMERICAN WAR AND US AGGRESSION AND INTERVENTION
4 FEBRUARY 2015
One hundred and sixteen years ago today, the Filipino people began their revolutionary struggle against US imperialism with the outbreak of the Filipino-American War. On February 4, 1899, patrolling American troops in Sociego Street, Sta. Mesa, Manila provoked the formal start of hostilities by firing at Filipino soldiers, thus stealing the independence hard-won, after three centuries under Spanish colonial rule, by Filipinos led by the revolutionary Katipunan.
The years spanning the Filipino-American War are one of the most terrible stretches of time in our history, but also one that bore witness to the burning and defiant patriotism that drove the masses to continue fighting for their independence despite overwhelming odds—a patriotism still burning to this day.
Some historical treatises estimate that over 5,000 battles raged across the country in the duration of the Filipino-American War. American official estimates after only two years of fighting stood at 600,000 Filipino casualties in Luzon alone. Two years later, this count reached nearly a million Filipinos dead due to combat and the after-effects of the Americans’ deliberate strategy of dislocation and destruction. Only 15,000 to 20,000 of these casualties were combatants.
In other words, American aggression over a century ago killed more Filipinos in just the first three years of their war of conquest and occupation than in the preceding three centuries of Spanish colonial rule. It murdered over 15% of the population of eight million in just the first five years.
Hundreds of thousands more would be killed in subsequent battles and as a result of the waves of “pacification campaigns” in Luzon and the Visayas from 1904 onwards. A further 100,000 of our Muslim brothers and sisters in Mindanao would be killed in their resistance from 1903 to 1913.
I could go on and list the atrocities committed against the Filipino people during the 17 years of the Filipino-American War just to elaborate the depth of the barbarity of American occupation and to illustrate how far US imperialism went to crush the nationalist resolve of Filipinos. But the massacres ordered by military and civilian officials on Filipino guerillas and non-combatants alike, the water cure, reconcentration, and scorched earth tactics, and such other war crimes are all well-documented, even by US congressional records.
Consequently, its accountability for reparation to the Filipino people, which covers apology, acknowledgment of the facts, and acceptance of responsibility, is well-grounded under international law.
I have filed House Resolution 130 in this Congress demanding from the US government an apology for the atrocities committed by its military forces against the Filipino people during the Filipino-American War and the imposition of US colonial rule. It cites the urgency and necessity for such acknowledgment in light of the Aquino administration’s initiatives to expand the presence of US military forces and facilities on Philippine soil.
I also filed House Bill 448 which seeks to declare today, February 4, as a special working holiday commemorating the “Philippine-American War Day” or “Araw ng Digmaang Pilipino-Amerikano.” I noted there that “remembrance of the patriotism and self-sacrifice of our heroes and martyrs will reconcile us with our past, clarify our present, and point our way to the future.”
We honor today the Filipino patriotism, struggle, and resilience against American aggression, not just during the long years of the Filipino-American War but also thereafter. Our history teaches us that American imperialism, which was bent during the 19th century on expanding its economic and military might by dominating the territorial spoils of Spain, has never left our land even after it “ended” its occupation. It has persisted until now, and even seeks to further entrench itself in the name of political, military, and economic positioning and domination. We see this in the Aquino administration’s agreement known as the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement. We see this even now in the hand of the US military in the Mamasapano operation.
But history also teaches us—as in any war, those who deem themselves oppressed and dominated, especially a people with a revolutionary legacy such as ours, will not lay idly down, but will definitely fight back.
I give this speech to commemorate our ancestors who fought gallantly, heroically over a century ago for Philippine independence, for a truly independent Filipino nation against US imperialism. We owe to their memory to keep the struggle for genuine independence alive.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.