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"Expand the ranks of cultural workers and activists!"
"Excel in creating and popuarizing artworks from the masses and for the masses!"
- from SINAGBAYAN's General Program of Action
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Sining na Naglilingkod sa Bayan (Art for the People)
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   In Barangay Commonwealth, progressive organizations are being harassed by the military. The soldiers arrived in the area last November 27, 2006, without even prior consultation with the local government, prompting Barangay Captain Gaviola to call Quezon City Mayor Sonny Belmonte to inquire about the military presence. The Mayor responded by sending Atty. Sabalza (Assistant City Administrator for Operations) to investigate. Only then did the military explain their objectives.  According to them, they will help maintain peace and order and help solve the community's problems by acting as a "bridge" between the citizens and the government agencies.

     Since then, they have:
     taken over a barangay hall building (Unit 5) and made it their sleeping quarters, thereby displacing the local councilor holding his office in the same building;
     imposed a curfew and made their regular rounds in the barangay, toting around their M-16s;
     made house-to-house inquiries in some areas regarding the presence of progressive partylists such as the Gabriela Women's Partylist (GWP), Bayan Muna, Anakpawis and local organizations associated with these partylists.

    
     The SINAGBAYAN - Commonwealth chapter recently concluded its workshop series and cultural program with the theme "ISULONG ANG KARAPATAN NG KABATAAN BILANG ESTUDYANTE AT MAMAMAYAN!" (Uphold the rights of the youth as students and citizens).&nbsp; The workshop series on Visual Arts (November 2006) and Poetrywriting (January 2007) was attended mostly by students from the Polytehnic University of the Philippines (PUP)-Commonwealth campus. The outputs of these workshops - posters, murals and poems - were then exhibited and performed in a week-long cultural event held on February 12-16 at the PUP campus in celebration of the National Arts Month.&nbsp; The event was composed of an exhibit of the students' works, filmshowings on youth issues, fora and cultural jammings on the various art disciplines and, as the culmination, a cultural program of performances from students and guests.

     As many students from PUP have expressed their interest in joining the organization, expect&nbsp; SINAGBAYAN-Commonwealth to continue their active presence in the campus. The chapter will also take part in the following activities and campaigns for the first half of the year:
     restaging of "Repleksyon sa Eleksyon" (Reflections on Elections);
     anti-militarization campaign;
     production for the Holy Week in April, in coordination with the local parish;
     and election campaign for the progressive partylists of Kabataan, Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela and Suara Bangsamoro.




     Since the start of the second semester, the SINAGBAYAN - UP Diliman chapter has been preparing for the restaging of "REPLEKSYON SA ELEKSYON" (Reflection on Elections), a musicale staged during the election campaign of 2004, which tackles the perennial issues of electoral fraud and violence, corruption and repression, while encouraging the people to unite and stand up for their rights.  

     The restaging will be first held on March 25, 2007 at the Pook Dagohoy Basketball Court in Barangay UP,and then toured in different barangays in from April to May.  This production is also a project of the Tara Na, UP! Community Service of the Arts Program, with students from the Civic Welfare and Training Service (CWTS) class under Professor Rommel Rodriguez (CAL).   After completing a series of workshops on theater, dance and music, the students are now busy with rehearsals, fundraising, promotions and other preparations for the project.

     The SINAGBAYAN-UP chapter also recently took part in the Alternative Classroom Learning Experience (ACLE), held last January 18, by launching a forum on performance art.&nbsp; The chapter also managed a booth and performed at the
UP Fair in UP-Diliman, held on February 12-17, as part of its plans for the semester.
    During the open forum, the lieutenant continued to assert that they had clean motives and that there was no need for alarm. However, there were some points raised by the residents that he was not to able to clear up, such as:
     - not having prior coordination with the local government, as proven by a etter addressed to Mayor Belmonte which was read during the meeting, showing that the mayor even had to investigate about their presence.   Their taking over of civilian affairs seemed unconstitutional and an usurpation of the local government's authority, casting doubt on the military's sincerity in bringing the people's problems to the government's attention.
     - being fully-armed, even while simply conducting their surveys, makes the area seem like a war zone and makes residents more afraid instead of assuring them of safety.
     - taking up the tasks of the local government and the Philippine National Police, which seemed redundant and a waste of taxpayers' money.

     The recent events in Barangay Commonwealth is also happening in other barangays where progressive organizations and partylists are present.  Military presence has been monitored in the following areas: Quezon City (Payatas, Commonwealth, Holy Spirit, Batasan, Krus na Ligas);&nbsp; Caloocan (Tala, Camarin, Bagong Silang); Makati; Pasig; Muntinlupa; and Manila (Pandacan, Sta. Mesa; Parola, Tondo; Islang Puting Bato, Baseco, Paco, Smokey Mountain).

     This "military take-over" in our barangays is another blow contributing to the worsening political repression.  In an effort to legitimize its fascist actions, the US-Arroyo regime is now pushing for the approval of the Anti-Terrorism Bill (merely a "copy" of the USA Patriot Act), which suppresses freedom of expression and violates the Constitution by allowing the labeling of legal people's actions as acts of terrorism.

     We are already under martial rule (again). But let us not allow the fascist regime to silence our voices and paralyze our actions. We have to be more vigilant than ever in denouncing and stopping the US-Arroyo regime's crimes against the people. We can do this, for we have done it once before. We have history on our side.

JUNK THE ANTI-TERRORISM BILL!
STOP MILITARIZATION!

If you would like to share information about other militarized communities, please e-mail us at
[email protected]
SINAGBAYAN IN 2007
This FEBRUARY:

- Election Fever: "REPLEKSYON SA ELEKSYON" musicale, March 25 2007; update on the UP chapter
- "Uphold the Rights of the Youth as Students and Citizens!" Celebration of the National Arts Month; update on the Commonwealth chapter
- "Oppose Militarization!" Update on the military presence in Barangay Commonwealth
- Kapisanan ng mga Mandudula sa Marikina (KMM)-SINAGBAYAN will stage the play "BISITA", the 2nd-place winner (dula) of the GAWAD KA AMADO.  February 27, 2007, Teatro Marikina.
There have been testimonies from residents of the surveys conducted by the military pertaining to the whereabouts, activities and schedules of visits of organizers of progressive partylists; and there have been incidents wherein the military took pictures of those associated with these partylists.  In a mass meeting held with local officials and homeowners' associations, the military warned the residents against supporting these progressive partylists.  The military focuses on these legal organizations instead of going after the gangs and syndicates that the barangay is notorious for.

     Fed up with the harrassment, representatives from the Gabriela Women's Partlyist, the human rights group KARAPATAN and other local organizations talked with the barangay captain and signed a formal complaint at the barangay hall last January 9, 2007. But later that day and the following day, around 6 soldiers started going around the building where the complainants were staying.

     On January 16, the military called for a mass meeting of local officials, homeowners' associations and local organizations.   Around 15-20 military personnel and officers were also there, dispersed around the area, still toting their M-16s.  Their spokesperson was Lieutenant Cabalza, who explained that they were simply making "sectoral studies" or house-to-house surveys on the needs of the residents which would be forwarded to the appropriate government agencies.
"UPHOLD THE RIGHTS OF THE YOUTH AS STUDENTS AND CITIZENS!"
"OPPOSE MILITARIZATION!"  Update on the military presence in Barangay Commonwealth
    More and more military troops are being deployed in various areas in Metro Manila as part of the US-Arroyo regime's scheme of using the military to breed fear and thus, stifle the rights of citizens, and to cheat in the upcoming elections, which is expected to be dirtier and bloodier than ever.
PUP students at work
miltary's house-to-house survey
military  taking over the Unit 4 barangay hall
January 16 mass meeting
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Gallery
Marso 25, 2007 6pm
Pook Dagohoy Basketball court (near Balai Kalinaw), UP DIliman
ELECTION FEVER: "REFLECTION ON ELECTIONS"

"Expand the ranks of cultural workers and activists!"

"Excel in creating and popularizing artworks from the masses and for the masses!"


         - from SINAGBAYAN's
General Program of Action


SINAGBAYAN is a cultural mass organization based in the Philippines. Its membership is composed of writers, musicians, visual artists, art enthusiasts, cultural workers and activists who arouse, organize and mobilize the masses towards national democracy.

SINAGBAYAN serves the people
by actively participating in the people's struggle; in particular,  by advocating a nationalist, scientific and mass-oriented culture. 

Art from the people and for the people. SINAGBAYAN studies, creates and popularizes art and literature which present the life and struggle of the Filipino masses.


SINAGBAYAN's
programs include:

performances
productions

education
workshops

organizing

community integration

international work

campaigns


Join/Support SINAGBAYAN!
We encourage you to:
enlist as a full-time or part-time volunteer;
sign up for activities;
contribute artworks (songs, poems, stories, sketches, etc.);
or donate materials/funds for our projects
.

Mailing address:
39 Scout Bayoran, Barangay South Triangle, 1109 Quezon City, Philippines


Peso Account number:
1287 - 10805 - 9
Depositor's ID:
SINING NA NAGLILINGKOD
SA BAYAN
Bank:
Equitable-PCI Bank,
New York-EDSA branch
Swiftcode:
PCIBPHMM
SINAGBAYAN in 2006...
SINAGBAYAN in 2004-2006...
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