Friday, January 22, 2010

Beyond 2010: A UP Academic Congress to Challenge our Next Leaders

This academic congress intends to identify the current issues, map the various approaches that have been tried in the past, provide some assessment of their gains and failures and draw out possible actions that must be done by the next administration. It is intended to empower the general public by making these issues transparent.  It is not solely addressed to the candidates for the 2010 elections. At the end of the forum, the public should be able to draw their own measurable objectives and milestones that can be achieved within the next six years hence allowing them to craft questions which they can ask from their candidates and make wise choices. The forum should draw responses from the political candidates that will go beyond mere generalities or rhetoric.


DAY 1 - February 1, 2010, Monday (Click here for abstracts of Day 1 sessions)

8:30–9:00  AM          Start of Registration Proper

9:00–9:30  AM          Opening Ceremonies

9:30 – 9:45 AM         Opening Remarks by Dean Marvic M.V.F. Leonen

9:45 – 10:00 AM       “The Imperatives for Philippine Society within the Next Generation" by UP President Emerlinda R. Roman

10:00–- 10:45 AM     “What Truly Matters to Filipinos?” by Prof. Randolf S. David

10:45 – 12:00 APM    Open Forum

12:00 – 1:30 PM         Lunch Break

1:30 – 3:30 PM           Session 1: Jobs and the Cost of Doing Business in the Philippines

3:45 – 5:45 PM           Session 2: Debt and Deficits

DAY 2 - February 2, 2010, Tuesday (Click here for abstracts of Day 2 sessions)
8:30–9:00 AM           Registration Proper
9:00–11:00 AM         Session 3: Backrooms, Battlefields, and Backhoes: The Mindanao Conundrum
11:00–1:00 PM         Lunch Break
1:00–3:00 PM           Session 4: Building Blocks to the Universal Enjoyment of the Right to

3:00–5:00 PM           Session 5: Secularisms and Fundamentalisms

DAY 3 - February 3, 2010, Wednesday (Click here for abstracts of Day 3 sessions)

8:00–8:30 AM           Registration Proper
8:30–10:30 AM         Session 6: The Diaspora of Filipinos: Strategic Issues, Concerns, and Alternatives
10:30–12:30 PM       Session 7: Property Reform and Related Issues
12:30–1:30 PM          Lunch Break
1:30–3:30 PM            Session 8: Rethinking Urban Policy: Spatial, Economic, and Institutional Aspects
3:45–5:45 PM            Session 9: Science and Technology

DAY 4 - February 4, 2010, Thursday (Click here for abstracts of Day 4 sessions)

8:00–8:30 AM            Registration Proper
8:30–10:30 AM          Session 10: Confronting Trade, Markets, and Regulation
10:30–12:30 PM        Session 11: Philippine Foreign Relations
12:30–2:00 PM          Lunch Break
2:00–4:00 PM            Session 12: Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction: Trends,

Challenges, Lessons, and Response Options 

DAY 5 - February 5, 2010, Friday (Click here for abstracts of Day 5 sessions)

8:00–8:30 AM            Registration Proper
8:30–10:30 AM          Session 13: Addressing Impunity
10:30–12:30 PM        Session 14: Elections and How to Choose Leaders
12:30–1:30 PM          Lunch Break
1:30–3:30 PM            Session 15: Labor–Revisiting Constitutional Guarantees 
3:45–4:00 PM            Closing Remarks by UP Diliman Chancellor Sergio S. Cao

                                     Session 16: Energy Security (Third week of February)
                                     Synthesis by the Chief Rapporteurs

For the primer with panel abstracts, please click this link, for the speakers' abstracts including their brief bio, please click this link.For a matrix on the convenors and panelists, please click this link. For more details, please contact the UP College of Law Office of the Dean at 927-0518.

Media updates on the UP Acad Congress can also be found here.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Maguindanao Massacre: Perspectives from the Social Sciences (A Public Forum)

The Maguindanao Massacre: Perspectives from the Social Sciences (A Public Forum)
January 19, 2010 (Tuesday), 10 am-12nn
Pulungang Claro M. Recto, Bulwagang Rizal (Faculty Center), University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City

On November 23, 2009, in a single act of unparalleled viciousness in Philippine history, fifty-seven unarmed individuals—mostly women and media practitioners—were mangled to death by the unrelenting firepower of their butchers in Ampatuan, Maguindanao. Their only mistake was to take part in a political exercise that would threaten the state-sanctioned feudal order as made manifest by the Ampatuans.

Though the massacre was historic for its sheer cruelty, the government’s and the public’s responses were anything but predictable. Candles were lit, fists were clinched, marches were held, statements released, headlines bannered, and the victims wailed for justice. Instead of arrests, there were highly-choreographed “surrenders” undertaken by government agents known for their capacity to “fix” every single mess left by the current dispensation. Drunk with power and inured by the trademark callousness of the chief executive, the government merely trundles along in its effort to give justice to the victims and to ensure that such inhumanity will never bedevil the hapless and the innocent. Hardly anyone said, "never again".

In the face of the public’s anger that is willing to trade justice for revenge and the grief of those who were left behind which has slowly hardened into undisguised cynicism and distrust, what can social scientists contribute to the public discussion of the Maguindanao massacre? What more can they offer besides those which were already expressed by the aggrieved punditry of the media’s commentariat? This forum is an opportunity for those in the social sciences to answer such questions.

The forum hopes to offer a more nuanced understanding of an event whose inherent brutality even exceeds the monstrous. Instead of a litany of causes, the forum would like to craft a diverse context informed by the speakers’ deep understanding of the historical and the sociopolitical. Rather than indulge in bombast and sound bites, the forum would like to present to the public the narratives that structure our present understanding of the massacre.

The main challenge, however, to those who profess the virtue of the social sciences in apprehending the real and in intimating the possible, is on how to envision a future free from the massacre’s madness—as is apparent in MalacaƱang’s imposition of martial law in Maguindanao—while holding on to a past whose lessons no Filipino should ever dare to forget.


Zosimo E. Lee
Dean, College of Social Sciences and Philosophy,
University of the Philippines, Diliman


Julkipli M. Wadi
Dean and Associate Professor,
Institute of Islamic Studies,
University of the Philippines, Diliman

(Video recording made unavailable at the presenter's request.)

Jamail A. Kamlian
Department of History,
Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology
(Please see this link for Prof. Kamlian's Powerpoint presentation.)

(Video recording made unavailable at the presenter's request.)

Eugenio A. Demigillo, Jr.
Former Deputy Director,
Third World Studies Center,
University of the Philippines, Diliman

Miriam Coronel Ferrer
Associate Professor, Department of Political Science,
University of the Philippines, Diliman
(For an expanded version of Prof. Coronel Ferrer's presentation, read her three-part series in her "Ways of Species" column at

(Video recording made unavailable at the presenter's request.)

Eufracio C. Abaya
Professor, Department of Anthropology,
University of the Philippines, Diliman



Eduardo C. Tadem
Professor, Asian Center,
University of the Philippines, Diliman

Organized by the Third World Studies Center, University of the Philippines, Diliman

College of Social Sciences and Philosophy (CSSP)
Office of the Dean, UP Department of Political Science
The Asia Foundation (TAF)
Philippine Political Science Association (PPSA)