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Archive for July, 2009|Monthly archive page

A Supplement to Criticism

In Economics, Philippine Issues, Political Theory, Politics on July 30, 2009 at 12:57 am

This entry is a response to an online class forum for post-SONA reactions, where the majority of statements were to some extent lacking in the will to explore theoretical fundamentals. While several of the comments are in themselves factually valid, it seemed that there was still a dearth in genealogical and historical investigations into the heart of the contemporary crisis. This piece aims not to negate what have been posited at the level of empirical investigation, but to contribute additional theoretical substance into the arguments.

Enjoy.

by Rosselle Tugade

***

“Maybe the target nowadays is not to discover what we are but to refuse what we are.” -Michel Foucault

Unlike most people who have participated in this forum, I did something different last Monday while millions tuned in to the ninth State of the Nation Address of Mrs. Arroyo.

Together with thousands of Filipinos waving banners of indignation and protest for a fight that needs to be fought, I marched along Commonwealth in the pouring rain to participate in bringing across the message that politics as a communal and transformative human imperative coupled with justice which allows seeds of criticism and responsibility to flourish need to be perpetually defended against the desensitizing and atomizing Dogma of the discourse of production, of efficiency, of normalization, of monolithic state rationality, and of totalizing state action that are all putting the fundamental human capacity of permanent critique into a precarious situation through an effective capture of vital democratic institutions and the public space.

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THE ASSEMBLY’S OFFICIAL STAND ON 2010 POLL AUTOMATION

In Philippine Issues, Politics on July 23, 2009 at 12:02 am

A History of Failure
Poll automation has been in the agenda of most presidents in recent memory. After the chaos of the 1992 elections, administrations hence have since pushed for the automation and modernization of the electoral process. Initial advances, however, since 1995 have been overshadowed by the numerous controversies that have hounded the process since. Automation has succeeded in the ARMM, once in 1997, when results were delivered within three days of elections, however, automation did not occur in 1998, despite the existence of law which mandated it, and was henceforth shelved after the DOST found the machines used in the ARMM elections inadequate. Between the years 2000 and 2004, three bidding attempts have failed, hence both the 2001 and 2004 elections were conducted manually. The last bid in particular, that of Mega Pacific Consortium attracted the most controversy after the Supreme court invalidated the awarding of the contract, citing “clear violation of law and jurisprudence” and “reckless disregard of [Comelec’s] own bidding rules and procedure”. Even the recent automation of the 2008 ARMM elections, which was handled by Smartmatic-Sahi failed to deliver on all fronts – although the voting process was automated, transmission of results from far-flung areas ultimately delayed the proclamation of winning candidates and hence underscored the possibly latent dysfunction of automation in the Philippines. The ASSEMBLY believes that such failures have underscored the fact that the plan to automate the next elections must be scrutinized at the basic level of technical intricacies and in the broader sense – with respect to the consolidation of an overall reform in political systems.
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NOT SO DEMURE

In Culture, History, Philippine Issues on July 10, 2009 at 10:46 am

Philippine Prostitution in the Spanish Colonial Era in Light of Pre-Colonial Notions of Sexuality

by Hansley A. Juliano

(a joint paper with Jore Vergara in Hi 165-B, Summer 2009 under Dr. Ambeth R. Ocampo)

We have a held perception that there exists in Philippine pre-colonial history a relatively peaceful society, occasionally interrupted by “inter-barangaic” wars. They believed in many gods and spirits, known today as paganism. We were a developing society then having a lot of sophistication and knowledge during our time. These include metallurgical works of gold, pottery, tools out of metals, stone and the like. With the increase in sophistication and knowledge, social stratification inevitably emerged, likely for the maintenance of an organized society back then. The main status symbol during the time was the gold ornaments stated earlier. Amidst all of this, however, our ancestors displayed a relatively primitive regard to fashion, based from how they dressed themselves merely by wearing minimal cloth, save possibly those belonging to the pre-colonial nobility depicted in the Boxer Codex.

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