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HomeOpinionNo To Maximizing Consumer Goods but Maximizing Values

No To Maximizing Consumer Goods but Maximizing Values

Kim’s Dream Orlan Ravanera

No to Demolition of Thousands of Families in Camp Evangelista

It is so painful and puzzling to know why some three thousand families who have been residents for more than 60 years now in the more than one hundred hectares in Patag Camp Evangelista are being ordered to be evicted by the 4th Infantry Division. Every now and then, a military car is roaming around the community repeatedly announcing using loud speaker that the residents are given only until April 1, 2024 to vacate or else their houses will be demolished. As descendants of pioneer soldiers who were assigned in Camp Evangelista during the 1950’s to bring peace in the war-stricken troubled-island of Mindanao and whose grandfathers, fathers and husbands have even sacrificed their lives to stop rebellion, they are so puzzled why like disposable wastes, their prior right is being totally disregarded and are being driven out from their residents. They could recall that when they came to Mindanao, the hundreds of hectares they have occupied have been given the privilege to establish their residency as families of brave soldiers whose duty is to protect people’s lives. 

Now, where will they go? Many of them are having sleepless nights. Worse, their children have reported that armed soldiers are going to their respective classrooms inside the camp, brandishing their firearms and even narrating an incident when gunshots occurred in Amo Dam, wounding some of them, the reason why some don’t want to go to school anymore. Is instilling fear part of the military strategy for the families to leave. KONG MOHILAK NA ANG ANAK SA KAHADLOK, ISIP GINIKANAN MOHUKOM NA GAYOD NGA MOHAWA, diba? DI BA ANGAY MAHALON ANG MGA BATA KAY ANG ILANG MGA KASUNDALUHAN NGA GINIKANAN NAGTAYA SA ILANG KINABUHI PARA SA NASUD? 

For those families who are standing firm to stand for their land right narrated that armed soldiers put red paint either in their gates or houses as a warning that their houses will be demolished come April 1 if they decided to stay. Such narration is just a “tip of the iceberg,” so to speak. Every family has its own story to tell, some are even in stress financially as they cannot just enter the well-guarded gate, treated like strangers, and must pay this or that before they can enter. 

They are even not allowed to do repair, making some of their houses not livable anymore as apparently, these illegal tactics are done as part of the eviction process. As narrated by the residents, they were recently informed that by April their water supply and electricity will be cut. They got an information that the 4th ID has issued a Memorandum to CEPALCO and to the Cagayan de Oro Water District that effective April 1, their supply of electricity and water will be stopped.  Such deprivation of their basic needs which are means to life will be a gross violation of their human rights cruelly done through massive coercion. Before coercion can proceed for eviction, it is the position of the residents that the 4th ID should first present the legal basis of eviction. To their surprise, what has been made as a legal basis is a Supreme Court Decision that named only eight families to be evicted. If that be the case, why evict thousands of them? No less than the Sangguniang Panlungsod issued a resolution not to effect demolition but instead to respect a Presidential Proclamation to allocate to the affected residents’ residential reservation inside the camp. 

Such was supported by a barangay resolution signed by the amazing honorable Punong Barangay, Hon. Eric Abaday not to effect demolition unless the affected residents are relocated to live a decent life. Yes, SILA PO AY TAO HINDI BASURA! Wow! So wonderful of you Punong Barangay Eric for your compassionate pro-people courageous stand. You are indeed the much awaited “man of the masses,” who is connected to the Formless Unseen Being, giving high adherence to the biblical declaration to “serve the least of our brethren.”  To you, our firm salute and warm embrace!

It is now the collective stand of the thousands of residents for the rule of law to prevail based on Section 1, Art. 2 of the 1987 Constitution, “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty and property without due process of law.” Furthermore, it is their contention that “in this country, no one is above the law; all must bow down to the rule of law because we follow the rule of law and not of men.” Glaringly, what is being followed here is the rule of power and of the guns. But isn’t it that no less than the Constitution declared that “Civilian authority is at times, supreme over the military” As provided for by law, the military should protect the life and property of the people? May we ask no less His Excellency PresBBM as Commander In-Chief why the 4th Infantry Division in Mindanao under the command of Gen. Jose Maria Cuerpo II, seems to be outside the loop of these constitutional declarations? 

Recently, based on our verification, such military travesty is happening for reason that Camp Evangelista will cease to be a camp and be transferred to Sitio Kibaritan, Malinao, Bukidnon. So, what will happen to Camp Evangelista? The hundreds of hectares will be sold (if not sold already) to a corporate giant, to a powerful oligarch called, AYALA CORPORATION. The oppressed community inside 4th ID is asking, by how much is the sale of our lands which we already have prior right? Is it true by at least P40B? Totoo po ba mahal naming Pangulo? Kaya pala sobra na ang pang-aapi para kami paalisin, dahil lang pala sa PERA. Is the enrichment of the Ayala & cohorts means our displacement?

 A 72-yr. old intellectual religious leader of the community named, Anita Agir Raymundo, daughter of a late gallant military officer, has an in-depth analysis of the sale with a query, to quote: 

“If you Ayala and Company with some 4ID Military Personnel can guarantee us, we residents, the eternal salvation, and eternal life in heaven, then, swear to our living God Jesus Christ that all and up to the last soul affected and oppressed in this demolition issues be given justice. We cannot just vacate our areas and surrender our rights and dignities to some greedy minded- persons in power because they have already received a portion of the sum of their selling schemes and promises of promotion in jobs at the expense of the thousands of souls living in these affected areas. If they magically claimed these areas, that they haven’t even lifted a finger to develop because they haven’t lived in these land areas, how about us? We will stand firm on our ground, that we as builders of good faith, pray for justice and be given priority on this matter.” No photo description available.

Indeed, as asked by the amazing leader, WHERE IS SOCIAL JUSTICE? As constitutionally mandated, “the State shall promote social justice in all phases of national development?” That shameless sale is not only a great social injustice at our own expense but manifest the truism that humanity now is buried is unbridled materialism and consumerism, focusing on maximizing consumer goods, sacrificing the people and the environment to the altar of greed and power. 

If that be the case, our stand is that, WE MUST NOT MAXIMIZE CONSUMER GOODS BUT MAXIMIZE OUR VALUES to live a different way of life. Such call is now reverberating globally. According to the Study of Oxfam, high veneration to the profit-motive has already captured the mindset of all governments, all institutions, all universities and even of religious groups. So much denigration of spirituality as what is happening now in Xavier University, selling the campus and Manresa to a powerful Cebu Land-masters, Inc. sacrificing its cultural heritage and even desecrating the burial ground of the Jesuit pioneers. How dare you CLI brandishing your billions to destroy the mini forest of Manresa that would put in extinction 40 species of birds. Isn’t that contrary to the declaration of His Holiness Pope Francis “to hear the cry of the earth?” Like the brave Americans, we will not allow you to do that even if we go to prison! PERA LANG PO YAN. ANG MAHALAGA, ANO ANG NASA PUSO NINYO. NA CONQUER NA BA NG EGO? Well, based on the declaration of Dr. Chomsky, the MASTERS OF MANKIND now are the multi-national corporations who are also the architects of government policies. These so-called architects are saying that “war is the health of the State,” as these corporations are earning so much out of wars and conflicts. 

A people-powered movement called, “Occupy” began in New York City in 2011 and rapidly spread to thousands of locations worldwide. “Occupy,” says Noam Chomsky “is the first major public response to thirty years of class war. Although most of the original sites have been raided by police as some 7,762 people have been arrested, the movement had already transitioned from occupying tent camps to occupying the national conscience.” The movement has now come of age in awakening humanity from deep slumber, buried by the State Capitalism through corporate globalization in unbridled materialism and consumerism. The number one doctrine of the corporate globalization is that of giving high reverence to the profit-oriented market, based on their firm belief that “market knows best” and that the Multi-National Corporations and Financial Institutions are “the MASTERS OF THE LAND,” to perpetuate “DOMINION OVER THE EARTH,” as Yahweh ordered in Genesis. Through that domination, GAIA (Mother Earth) is now described in the doomsday clock as “one minute before midnight.”

In the Philippines, such doctrine that is giving high veneration to the profit-motive, a market-driven paradigm has already replaced the natures and sustenance economy that for thousands of years have taken-cared of the needs of the Filipinos, treating nature as like a “home” where their basic needs are provided for. For these State capitalists, the earth is to be dominated; nature and the people are just means to acquire instant wealth, fame, and power. If you are an intellectual and is committed to serve the poor and the oppressed, you will be isolated, mocked and even imprisoned or killed. State capitalism is brandishing the power of money, rationalizing that if you are an intellectual, use your talent and skills to enrich yourself. That seems to be the prevailing mindset now, even of religious groups. 

Dr Chomsky has provided the people with information that in the last 30 years, State Capitalism has enriched some 1,000 corporations tremendously at the expense of the struggling people. The combined wealth of the top eight billionaires in the USA is equal to the total wealth of 3.6 billion people on earth or half of the world ‘s population. The combined wealth of the 1,000 corporations is greater than the wealth of 7.2 billion people. Through this truism, it is the apt time for all of us to reflect on issues of poverty and hunger not only nationally but globally. As embodied in the report of the United Nations, the nations in the world have targeted the eradication of poverty as the number one priority. This is so because out of the 4.4 billion people in the developing countries, 1.3 billion live on less than $1 per day, 2.8 billion on less than $2 per day. Close to 790 million people struggle to meet their basic food need requirement on daily basis. Each year, 15 million people die of poverty-related causes, most are children. There are even those advertising the sale of their organs to survive. These painful realities are happening because of the Satanic stranglehold through State Capitalism.

Can civilization survive existing capitalism? To quote Dr. Chomsky, “A future historian would look back on a curious spectacle taking shape in the early 21st century. For the first time in human history, humans are facing significant prospects of severe calamity because of their own actions, they are battering the foundations of decent survival. There is a range of reactions. At one extreme, some seek to act decisively to prevent possible catastrophe. At the other extreme, major efforts are underway to deny what is happening and to dumb down the population so that they will not interfere with short term profit. Leading the effort to intensify the likely disaster is the richest country in the world history, the USA. Leading the effort to preserve conditions to which our immediate descendants might have a decent life are the so-called primitive societies – the Indigenous Peoples.”

The categorical statement of the number one intellectual in the world is indeed correct, especially when he mentioned that the Indigenous Peoples are so concerned as they live in oneness with nature. But we have a big problem here in our country, especially here in Mindanao. Every time they go against corporate globalization that is grabbing their ancestral domain, every time they stand-up against illegal logging and illegal mining, they are being killed. In fact, more than one hundred IP Chieftains have already been murdered since 2016.

This “religion” that gives so much reverence to profit-oriented, market-driven globalization must now be opposed by the Filipinos like what the Americans are doing now. Let us oppose the tremendous commercialization of land in Mindanao through the enclosures of the commons, using brutality and violence as in the case in Butong, Quezon, in Mirayon, Talakag, in San Vicente, Sumilao and in Kibaritan, Kalilangan, Bukidnon, among others. Look at our wily politicians in cohort with State Capitalism who dare to monopolize power through political dynasties. 

While our Fundamental Law prohibits political dynasties, the same cannot be translated into laws for the simple reason that such goes contrary to the policies of State Capitalism. I wonder how much of the outpourings of funds go the pockets of these deceitful politicians, that is why some, if not many, were buying votes. Like vampires, they suck the country dry. They make gargantuan raking from contracts on special projects from cartels, corporations, or monopolies – the vanguards of State Capitalism – that they have given favor to. Well, if you are in control economically, you must also be in control politically. So, if you cannot run because politics is not your forte, better support a winning candidate who will protect your interest. 

That is res ipsa loquitor. Many candidates were backed up by big business and corporations, like what happened in USA when Barrack Obama who won the Presidency, having been backed-up by the One Percent Regime of State Capitalism. Then as US President, he lowered down the taxes of these corporations at the expense of the struggling Americans. As declared by the Americans fighting for their rights, “that in a Republican and Democratic State, it should be the sovereign people who should be the architect of government policies, NOT THE CAPITALISTS.” That should also be the voice of the Filipino people. 

Enough is enough of global abject poverty, of manufacturing armaments that can kill humanity 40 times over, of rising global inequities where the most powerful empire in the world, the Modern-day American Imperialism is in control. Enough is enough of unbridled materialism and consumerism based on the dogma that “market knows best” and “the market is always right.” Debunk the ego, go to the sublime, be one with nature as it is sacred – that’s what true spirituality is: to CONNECT WITH THE UNSEEN, FORMLESS BEING, THE CONSCIOUSNESS CALLED GOD, TO SERVE THE LEAST OF OUR BRETHEN, NOT THE EGO THAT HAS BURIED HUMANITY IN COLLECTIVE INSANITY THROUGH STATE CAPITALISM. You are Consciousness and that consciousness should be one with all life!! Know thy deeper self –CONSCIOUSNESS which is eternal!

As what is happening now in the United States, change is now in the offing as State Capitalism is now in the brink of collapsing. What is now imperative is to effect social transformation, to change humanity’s mindset and way of living. Thus, let us spread the truism that unless we debunk our way of living that is centered on maximizing capacity to buy or maximizing consumer goods and shift to maximizing our values for a better life for humanity, the EGO based on unbridled materialism and consumerism will spell the end of mankind. What is now reverberating not only in the USA but all over the world is the strong message that: WHAT WE SHOULD NOW BE WORKING FOR IS A DIFFERENT WAY OF LIVING, WHICH IS NOT BASED ON MAXIMIZING CONSUMER GOODS, BUT ON MAXIMIZING VALUES THAT ARE IMPORTANT FOR LIFE.

Having put in clear categorical term why the thousands of families in Camp Evangelista are being harassed to be evicted for reason of selling their hundreds of hectares which they already have legal prior right for business of a powerful oligarch, the three thousand residents are now organizing themselves into cooperative to advance peace, justice, and sustainability, trailblazed by amazing compassionate community leaders. The oppressed community in Camp Evangelista is now being empowered by harnessing their collective potentials, building alliance nation-wide with kindred spirit who are also advocating for peace, justice, and sustainability to be transformative for people, planet, prosperity, and peace – all for God’s greater glory. 


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