I am James Bernard E. Relativo
A Junior student in The University of The Philippines - Diliman studying BA Journalism
I am a proud music enthusiast and musician, i play drums and vocals for my band Praying for Estella, and also play the same for DSD (deathstar diorama) and Slickfinger.
I am a proud Christian, an activist, marxist-leninist-maoist, love sports like football, skateboard, cycling, swimming, etc.
Woo! Rockers ako!
From the movie “Persepolis”
From the movie “Persepolis”
From the movie “Persepolis”
Like everybody, I really do wish that everything could be settled through “sober discourse” and debate. Sadly, dialectics in the realm of ideas, within the larger context of class struggle, could only go so far, and could easily be avoided by the other end.
I also wish that Abad could have also had the spine to actually “engage” the students regarding DAP (you know, like what he says in his press releases). That is required in order for a “civil exchange of thoughts” to even become possible. However, he just opted to run away (you’d notice that if you watched the whole video).
Here we have a public official in hot water whose main task is to handle the financial matters of the state. But instead of answering to his “bosses” (as the President have put it), he opts to run away, owing everyone an explanation where he took their money. Public office is a public trust, and with that attitude, sadly it merits doubt and contempt from a significant portion of the populace. When there is no intention of engagement in times of significant discontent, in times when public interest is largely at stake, could it still be moral to invoke the values of civility, manners, and etiquette?
Suppose we have a suspected thief enter your house and he/she opts to escape after you have taken notice, running after said person and even shouting at him/her would have been the cultural norm. The aggrieved party would likely proceed to do anything in his/her power to stop or deter the suspect, which might or might not hurt said person. I have yet to see a culture in which the aggrieved party is required to calm down, required to limit his/her form of confrontation to a civil debate with a suspect/thief. Likewise, no one is expected to fix a hot cup of tea for him/her.
Defining “violence” will always be a partisan undertaking. In fact, maybe we should qualify what we mean by that word. If throwing pieces of paper at a person could be considered as an act of violence warranting the label “enemy of a university,” maybe we should re-examine our standards. We experience various forms of overt violence perpetuated by the state, its agents, and the economic elite everyday — people are starving due low wages and lack of jobs, people are forcibly compressed into the speeding metal death trap we call the MRT, students, farmers, professionals and workers are beaten to a bloody pulp in political protests, yet no one bats an eye. I’ve seen this thousands of times happen before my very eye where people get seriously inconvenienced, hurt, and/or injured, yet we hear no apology. We hear no recognition of “violence” where it actually happens. Only variants of condescending replies such as “we’re just doing our job” permeate the air.
The throwing of paper is an act of “symbolic violence.” It is an act whose point is not to physically harm but to empower the dispowered, the hopelessly desperate. It is an act attempting to bring shame where shame is due. It is an act inflicted towards the privileged who otherwise have all the machinery to inflict real harm.
As a friend once told me, “Anong karapatan ng isang taong humiling ng isang bagay na matagal niyang ipinagdamot?” I’m proud to say that I’m with the protesters on this one — DBM Sec. Abad won’t be getting any apology anytime soon.
Antonio Hilario, who was Tonyhil or Hilton to friends, grew up in Quezon City’s La Loma district. His father was a lawyer and his mother a school nurse. Tonyhil counts among his ancestors, Tiburcio Hilario, the fi rst revolutionary governor of Pampanga under the First Philippine Republic, and Marcelo Hilario del Pilar, one of the propagandists of the Philippine Revolution.
The young Tonyhil had a placid childhood. He made toys out of scrap wood and later showed an interest in electronics, taking apart broken-down transistor radios to see how they worked. He rarely socialized, preferring reading or going to the movies to playing basketball with the neighbors. He attended an exclusive Catholic boys’ school until high school. He enroled at the University of the Philippines (UP) in 1965 for a course in electrical engineering. He then grew immersed in political activities in the campus and never completed his course.
He fi rst joined the UP Nationalist Corps where he was a leader of discussion groups, and a participant in its many countryside trips as part of the group’s learning-from-the-masses program. It was here where Tonyhil fi rst learned about rural poverty and oppression.
He was at the historic rally of 26 January 1970, which opened the turbulent period called the First Quarter Storm. He ended up that night nursing a bandaged head and a body turned black and blue by police truncheons. The experience seemed to strengthen his convictions.
He helped found the Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan (SDK), a militant youth group that quickly moved into the forefront of the student movement. As SDK’s fi rst secretary general, he worked to build SDK chapters in Quezon City, in Manila’s university belt and poor communities and in other urban centers outside of Metro Manila. Under his leadership, SDK membership grew from a few hundreds to thousands nationwide.
When President Marcos suspended the writ of habeas corpus in 1971, Tonyhil’s name was included in a list of activists charged with subversion. Then the following year, when martial law was imposed, SDK went underground and so did Tonyhil.
His initial assignment in the revolutionary underground was the building of clandestine youth groups in Manila. Later, the underground sent him to Panay island to organize rural people, train armed recruits, and expand the guerrilla territories.
Tonyhil is remembered by former comrades and friends as quiet and introspective, always with a stick of lighted cigarette hanging between his fi ngers on one hand and a cup of coff ee on the other. His manner was always gentle and his words soft. But he had a sharp and logical mind that colleagues respected. His leadership was always sought.
He had been in Panay less than two years when he was killed in a military raid in Barrio Aglag-it, a remote village in the mountain fastness of Kalibo in Aklan province. Tonyhil’s group had been in conference inside a hut when the soldiers came and immediately opened fi re. Two other activists, Antonio Tagamolila and Rolando Luarca, were killed instantly, along with the pregnant villager who owned the hut. Tonyhil was hit in the chest and urged his other companions to leave quickly. A witness said that the soldiers beat him up and had him dig a grave for himself and his two dead comrades. Tonyhil’s family later exhumed the bodies and had Tonyhil buried in a Manila cemetery. The epitaph on his grave reads: “Behind the words, ‘contradiction’, ‘dialectics’, ‘struggle’… lies the desire to see man become human again.”
Birth: November 7, 1949
Place of Birth: Quezon city
Death: February 19, 1974
Place of Death: Kalibo, Aklan
Y U POGI-ER THAN ME? (Photo courtesy of Paula Sabrine’s FB)