Randy David speaks on recent political events and its impact on Mindanao

Prof. Randy David, columnist of the Philippine Daily Inquirer and a University of the Philippines sociology professor, will be main speaker in a public forum on 19 April (Wednesday) titled, “The National Crisis: What Is It For Us In Mindanao?”

Prof. Randy David, columnist of the Philippine Daily Inquirer and a University of the Philippines sociology professor, will be main speaker in a public forum on 19 April (Wednesday) titled, “The National Crisis: What Is It For Us In Mindanao?”

The forum, which is organized by the Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID), a Davao-based regional advocacy institution, as part of its public fora series for awareness raising, will start at 5:30 p.m. at the Grand Men Seng Hotel.

Former Davao councilor Prof. Luz Ilagan of the Ateneo de Davao University will also speak in the forum. Ilagan is among the so-called “Davao 8” who were named in rebellion charges last February. The forum will include reactors from the grassroots, the Bangsamoro and from the women sector.

On February 24, Prof. David became among the first cases of warrantless arrests under the state of emergency declared by Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo by virtue of Proclamation No. 1017. David and two other companions were apprehended that day while spearheading a march rally in Quezon City as part of the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the first People
Power revolt. The charge was for violation of Batas Pambansa 880 (Public Assembly Act) and inciting to sedition. All rally permits had been revoked by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo after she declared a state of national emergency.

An account of his arrest went thus: “To his (David’s) further surprise, his captors invoked Proclamation No. 1017 as basis for his arrest. `What’s that?’ David blurted out as it was the first time he had heard of such a decree. `Nobody could tell me what it is. Obviously, not one of them has read, much less gotten hold of a copy of Proclamation 1017.’

At Camp Karingal where he was brought, David disclosed that a Col. Lipana even had to ask for a copy of the proclamation from one of the lawyers who came to assist them. “

David said his arrest enabled him to see how the poor are being treated. “It’s sad that you need to have a face, name, title, money to have access to justice,” he lamented. “My experience is nothing compared to what the poor majority in this country endures in an unjust, unequal, and insecure society, of which the Philippines under Arroyo is only a symbol of. Sadly, it is the kind of society that all of us, including the intelligentsia and the mass media, have allowed.”

David was in a list of 59 individuals, among them members of leftist party-list groups, including Satur Ocampo, Teddy Casino, Joel Virador of Bayan Muna, Liza Maza of Gabriela, and Rafael Mariano of Anakpawis, who were charged of rebellion and insurrection allegedly committed on February 24.

Prof. Ilagan, meanwhile, is part of the so-called “Davao 8” named in an affidavit-complaint filed by Davao police in connection with a rebellion charge against the Davao-based Rep. Virador. The “Davao 8” allegedly committed rebellion in a February 24 march-rally of militant groups in Davao which had called for the immediate resignation of President Arroyo.

The affidavit against the “Davao 8” was filed before the justice department in Manila to support the charges of rebellion against Virador and other militant leaders. Ilagan was a councilor from 1998 to 2001.

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