By ALEXANDER MARTIN REMOLLINO
Catholic priest Fr. Joe Dizon, convener of the anti-fraud and election monitoring group Kontra Daya, raised hell earlier this week over the Commission on Elections’s (Comelec) accreditation of a partylist group that is, by its own declaration, a project initiated by an official of the Arroyo administration and a prominent ally of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

By ALEXANDER MARTIN REMOLLINO
“With the long history of fraud and manipulation involving the Comelec and other government agencies to favor the incumbent regime, the concerns about the automated elections are serious and require action. We have to be ready to mobilize in huge numbers, should there be a failure of elections. We cannot let Mrs. Arroyo take advantage of that situation to perpetuate herself in power.”

By ALEXANDER MARTIN REMOLLINO Bulatlat.com MANILA—When Haiti was struck by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake last Jan. 12, there were already around 400 Cuban doctors and other health workers working all over the country, present in 227 of Haiti’s 237 communes. “Our solidarity with Haiti did not begin after the earthquake,” said Enna Valdes, Cuba��s newly-designated…

By ALEXANDER MARTIN REMOLLINO
“The First Quarter Storm of 1970 caught the attention of the people on a national and international scale. It inspired the youth and working people in the provincial capitals and cities to rise up and carry out protest actions against US imperialism and the local reactionaries and demand national liberation and democracy.”

By ALEXANDER MARTIN REMOLLINO
As the curtain was beginning to fall on 2009, the on-and-off peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) resumed in Kuala Lumpur, with both parties agreeing to begin talks on the drafting of a Comprehensive Peace Compact that would resolve the Moro question. The year, however, drew to a close without any far-reaching movement in the GRP-MILF peace process.

By ALEXANDER MARTIN REMOLLINO
In this Q&A, Esmael Mangudadatu, vice mayor of Buluan town, Maguindanao, talks about the Ampatuan massacre and how the Ampatuans ruled the province. “They made business out of the votes. They extorted money out of the senatorial candidates who were campaigning in Maguindanao by selling votes to them,” he said. He also wished that there would be no whitewash in the case against them.

By ALEXANDER MARTIN REMOLLINO The Ampatuans’ rise to the peak of political power was in no small part due to their ties with the military. In a most ironic twist, the military proposed the extension of martial law in Maguindanao until the 2010 elections purportedly to teach the Ampatuans “how to run peaceful and credible elections.”

A former chief of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), who is also one of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s most trusted men, is one of the directors of a big mining company that operates in a number of provinces, among them Bukidnon, which is one of the provinces where several indigenous-peoples’ communities are suffering under a reign of terror perpetrated by the military and paramilitary groups.

By ALEXANDER MARTIN REMOLLINO
As foreign mining investments continue to encroach into Lumad lands in Northern Mindanao, the military, through its Oplan Bantay Laya, intensifies its campaign to stifle local opposition to these companies. A fact-finding mission found that so far this year, 13 Lumads have been summarily executed while more were tortured and harassed by soldiers and fellow Lumads co-opted by the military.