Monthly Archives: May 2014

Art exhibit features works of political prisoners

An art exhibit featuring the works of political prisoners opens today at the lobby of the National Housing Authority. Titled “Artworks from Confined Spaces,” the exhibit features some of the works of political prisoners at the Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City and New Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa City.

“Some of them began drawing or painting outside prison. Most of them were able to hone their talents while facing the hardships inside the walls of prison,” said Bonifacio Ilagan, SELDA vice-chairperson.

They are a combination of young and old political prisoners who were able to gather a collection of their works while inside different detention centers.

“They face various trumped-up charges, a far cry from their lifetime commitment to struggle for justice and democracy. It is such an injustice that they are robbed of their youth, they are denied of their freedom. Through this exhibit, let us see through the eyes of the political prisoners. As they say, we are inside the larger prison of society,” Ilagan said.

Featured political prisoners are peace consultants for the National Democratic Front of the Philippines Tirso Alcantara, Alan Jazmines and Eduardo Sarmiento; youth activists-turned-peasant organizers Voltaire Guray, Reynaldo delos Santos, Hermogenes Reyes and Sandino Esguerra.

There are currently 489 political prisoners in the country. More than a hundred of them were arrested on trumped-up criminal charges under the Aquino government. The exhibit aims to echo the call to free all political prisoners.

Guray, one of the political prisoners, said he and his fellow political prisoners hope that their works will be seen by many people.

“Ang mga likhang sining ang sisimbolo para ipaabot ang tuloy-tuloy naming pakikibaka kasama ang malawak na sambayanan sa labas ng bilangguan. Ito rin ang maghahatid ng aming kalagayan at karanasan, at ang kabulukan ng sistema sa loob ng bilangguan. Ang aming sining ay patuloy na maglilingkod sa sambayanan (The artworks symbolizes our continuing struggle with the broad masses of the people outside prison. These also portray our situation and experiences, and the rotten system inside prison. Our art will continue to serve the people).”

The exhibit is a joint effort of the NHA Employees Union, the Confederation of Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE), Concerned Artist of the Philippines (CAP), Bayan Muna, KARAPATAN and SELDA. It will run from May 30 to June 6.

Tips on how to detect and avoid scams

PNP chief, Director General Alan LM Purisima, encouraged the citizenry to thoroughly consider the following safety tips that could save precious lives and properties. According to the PNP chief, “scammers often seek soft targets so they move on if you do not respond.” “Just block their e-mails and their accounts and cease all contacts with the scammer. If ever you encounter this kind of scam, save the scammer’s details, e-mails, comment threads, or any other evidence you have of them and the extortion attempt,” he added.

mamang pulis 5-15

Image credit: N. Torrecampo

Here are some of the scams:

TEXT SCAM is a modus operandi by unscrupulous individuals to dupe and defraud subscribers. They send unsolicited messages to entice other people into giving them money, load or personal information for their gain. Fraudsters use mobile phones to target more unsuspecting victims in the country. Text scam uses a ‘normal’ 11-digit number. Legitimate SMS promos will always be coursed thru telecommunication companies’ short codes, 3 or 4-digit numbers provided by the carrier, not the usual 11-digit mobile number format (example 0918-123-4567).

THE NEW ROA¬MING NUMBER SCAM victimizes relatives of Overseas Filipino Workers. A text message is sent out to unsuspecting subscribers supposedly from a relative working abroad saying the number used to send the text message is his or her new roaming number. Such text message would read ‘Eto na ’yung ba¬gong roaming ko, kumusta na kayo diyan? Lungkot dito abroad. Miss ko na kayong lahat diyan. Uwi na ako Pasko. This is my new roaming number. How are all of you. It’s lonely here. Be home on Christmas).” Another is “Kamusta na kyo diyan? I2 bgo ko roaming #, may padala ako dyn. Ingat kyo lagi. God bless. Miss u all.”

The LOTTERY/PRIZE SCAM — Consumer will be contacted by SMS or e-mail with news that he/she has won a large sum of money but in order to receive the winnings, he/she must first pay the taxes by depositing into a stranger’s account. The consumer sends the funds but the winnings are never received.

SCAM IN MALLS — Beware of corporate-looking people who ask you in malls if you have credit cards. Your initial reaction would be ‘yes’ as you want to get rid of them thinking that they will offer you some credit cards but think again before you try to brush them off because they will actually bug you more once you say yes. Once they know that you have a credit card, ATM card, check book or any proof that you have money that could be taken away from you, they will be persistent in inviting you over their office by enticing you with their freebies.

What to do?

First, ignore this kind of people. Second, if they become so annoying, report them to the mall administrator. Third, stay away from these people.

THE CHARITY DONATION SCAM — The victim will be told that the culprit is a representative of either a charity organization or a recognized government foundation tasked to secure donations for a worthy cause. The victim will be given contact details and information on how he/she can donate to the fraudster via the charitable organization.

THE ONLINE AUCTION PURCHASE SCAM — The consumer with the winning bid in an online auction is instructed that the seller will only accept money transfer as a form of payment. The seller may also instruct the consumer to use a fictitious name for the transfer, to ‘protect themselves’ until the goods are received — but they never arrive really.

THE DUGU-DUGO OR BUDUL-BUDOL SCAM — The victim, mostly an elderly or a housemaid will receive a call from someone who claims to be a family member stating that a loved one has been kidnapped or hurt. The caller will then instruct the unsuspecting victim to make a transfer of money to a stranger to avoid the kidnapped relative from being harmed or to pay for medical expenses. In most cases, the caller asks their prey to forcibly open the room of their employers and instruct them to get cash and valuables she can find inside drawers.

THE RECRUITMENT SCAM — The victim will receive an offer to a job overseas from an individual who claims to represent an agency or the employer and requests for a placement fee to be transferred to his/her account to facilitate processing of the travel documents.

THE BUSINESS INVESTMENT SCAM — A business may receive a request from a stranger posing as a representative of a major corporation offering the opportunity to become involved in a large commercial operation. The offer will involve very large financial returns and will require the victim to finance portions of the business venture. All payments will be required to be forwarded in amounts between P10,000 and P50,000.

Examples of the requests for money include: payment of legal fees, payment for the suppliers or sub-contractors, payment for the registration costs and payment of business taxes.

Source: Mamang Pulis (People’s Tonight)

Activities that will keep the kids busy and earning this summer

Kids can do a lot of interesting things this summer besides playing computer games most of the day. They can actually sell their old stuff like books and toys and other things that they don’t need but can be of use to other kids in the neighborhood.

If your kids love to help in preparing snacks at home, they can turn this interest into money-generating project like selling lemonade and snacks in front of their house.

Or, if your kids love to draw, they can be a part time cartoonists (like what my kids are doing this summer). You can always think of worthwhile activities to do during vacation.

How about you, what are the things that keep your kids busy this summer.