Asking The BRAIN

by Jan Mikko Canarias

In this blog I have written a report on the incident that happened during the forum in the Ateneo de Davao University with invited guess Secretary Norberto Gonzales. I was present, as a media, during  the  said forum.

The Story

It was February 10, 2010 at Room F213, Finster Building of the Ateneo de Davao University. The forum ‘Reaffirming the Pillars of Democracy in 2010 Elections – The Armed Forces of the Philippines, The Church and Faith Communities and The Civil Society in Fusion’ had Secretary Gonzales as the guess speaker.

Secretary Norberto Gonzales gave a speech about the AFP’s role in the coming 2010 Presidential Elections. There were reactors, faculty members from the academe, who gave their reactions after Gonzales had delivered his speech. After the reactors have spoken, the organizers gave way for students, as well as guests, to give a question to the Secretary. The first question was from a BS-Chemistry student. His question wasn’t answered by the Secretary directly, but he just twisted the question and gave the question back to the student. The second person gave a comment on the secretaries speech and then sat down. He was called again to the microphone, when Secretary Gonzales asked “what was the question?”. As obviously the man was just giving his comment. When the man stood up again on the microphone, he asked the secretary about the peace and order the AFP could provide during the elections. The Secretary answered the question directly.

The third question was raised by the LFS spokesperson for Southern Mindanao, Karlos Manlupig. First he delivered some arguments regarding the Secretary to be the brain of extra-judicial killings during the Arroyo regime, but during his delivery of arguments some organizers at the back one is from the academe, Mr. Hadji Balajadia, disrupt him stating “Sure ka?, Sure ka?, Check your facts!”. Karlos Manlupig replied to the disruption of Mr. Balajadia’s group that if ever they want facts he will send him some after the forum. Then Mr. Manlupig continued his arguments and asked his question. The question was all about Gonzales being the BRAIN of EXTRA-JUDICIAL killings and AFP being part in some Electoral Violences. He also stated on his question about how did the licensed guns of the army got to the hands of the warlords in Mindanao. The same thing of what happened to first question, Secretary Gonzales diverted the question towards Mr. Manlupig. He pointed Mr. Manlupig to be a communist,a killer,  and told everybody that he is pity to him. He said the reason why he is wearing bullet proof vest is because of the people like Mr. Manlupig and the communist group NPA that is lisenced to kill him. He even asked the name of Mr. Manlupig, and stated “wag ka mag-alala hindi kita ipapahuhuli”. The crowd then taking pictures and gave an eye to Mr. Manlupig. The LFS members began standing up, raising their flag as a sign of identity and raised some papers of protests. The Military along with some civilian clothed personnel took pictures of the group. The Secretary again said that he is pity, but he referred it to the youth of Davao City. He is pity because the youth of the city is bombarded by false knowledge.

He even referred Mr. Manlupig and the group of LFS to have the greatest private army, the NPA. He also mentioned the name of Senatorial candidates Liza Maza and Satur Ocampo to have been supported by the communist group, and was ensured 2million sure votes in the election.

After the fourth question was raised the SAMAHAN, AdDU’s student government, President Ria Lumapas gave the closing remarks, and she added that she asked sorry to the guest, Secretary Norberto Gonzales, about the incident. When she was giving the closing remarks, the chairperson of the LFS shouted “Inutang na dugo sa pasistang rehimen, Singilin, singilin pagbayarin!”. The president then again asked forgiveness and stated that it was not a kind of “Ateneo Breeding”.

The LFS chairperson however was harassed by the guards of Ateneo when they wanted to took the I.D of the students. He was dragged down from F213 to the first floor, a guard holding his I.D on his neck.

“Sure ka? Sure ka? Check your Facts?”

This line was raised by the group of  Mr.Hadji Balajadia. It was clear that the conference was organized by the group of Mr. Balajadia, a member of the PDSP, Partido Demokratiko Sosyalista ng Pilipinas. He interupted Mr. Manlupig’s asking of question to the secretary.

The one in Pink Polo beside the president is Mr. Hadji Balajadia November 04,2009

Image source: Mr. Hadji Balajadia’s Facebook Account : http://www.facebook.com/people/Hadji-Balajadia/725150539#!/photo.php?pid=4474207&id=725150539

I wanted to ask Mr. Balajadia’s side on what can he say about the recent news about the MORONG 43, which the AFP forced to take without legal basis , and also to the defiance of the AFP to the Writ of Habeas Corpus of the Supreme Court. I also would want to ask Mr. Gonzales if he is the one behind the arrest of 43 health practitioners. As he had said on the forum that he has a great assurance that the AFP has not been part of any electoral violence or any form of violence.


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