In Hongkong and New York City:

Picket rally and candle lighting for the victims of the Ampatuan Maguindanao massacre

 

Hongkong        New York City

 

Posted:  December 7, 2009

 

 

 
   
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Picket rally and Candle lighting in Hong Kong

Photos courtesy  of Bayan - Hong Kong

           
           

 

Statement of Filipino migrant workers in Hong Kong on the Maguindanao Massacre
 

(Statement issued during the Prayer Service for Justice, 29 November 2009, at the St. John’s Cathedral grounds. The event was attended by more than 200 OFWs from various organizations, alliances, federations, church fellowships and OFWs from Mindanao.)


Bagong Alyansang Makabayan – Hong Kong (BAYAN-HK), GABRIELA – Hong Kong,
United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK)
29 November 2009


A crime most foul and reflects the worst of how the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo regime has perpetuated and protected vicious power grab, the culture of impunity, murder of political dissenters and killing of journalists – this is the Maguindanao Massacre.

To date, 64 bodies have been recovered from and around the site of the most barbaric and condemnable massacre of civilians, lawyers and media workers that has ever been recorded in the history of election-related violence in the country. Families of the victims demand justice and such should be given swiftly and without political patronage.

While the investigation is still ongoing, the most likely suspect remains to be the scion of the powerful Ampatuan family that has been in control of the Maguindanao province for years and a known ally of the GMA government. In the past two elections, Maguindanao delivered the votes that put GMA and her allies in place – votes that are tainted with fraud as the ‘Hello Garci’ scandal has shown.

Just a few months before the May 2010 elections, the Filipino people are now seeing the intense political crisis in the country where the ruling elites desperately vie for various posts in the land even to the detriment and death of hapless civilians.

As the crisis of the neocolonial and semi-feudal Philippine society intensifies, members of the ruling class become even more desperate to secure the biggest slice of the constricting resources while the rest of the masses – the workers, peasants, women, migrant workers, indigenous people – continue to wallow in poverty and insecurity in their lives and livelihood.

The most desperate to maintain hold of their economic and political power are those in the ruling camp. GMA herself has the most to lose as her tenacious hold on her position becomes even more brittle.

Fascism and human rights violations are the hallmark of the GMA administration. Sponsored and supported by the United States, GMA has been faithfully toeing the anti-communist and “anti-terrorist” hysteria of the imperialist US that it uses to justify the terrorism it sows upon progressive and revolutionary movements in the country including those struggling for Moro self-determination. US itself has enormous economic and security interest in Mindanao and it is to its own benefit to maintain local tyrants in the island.

Oplan Bantay Laya is the blueprint of the US-Arroyo’s war against the Filipino people. It is this military strategy that has resulted to wanton murders of civilians and unarmed activists and the displacement of many people. It has also given license to local warlords cum politicians to arm themselves, build private armies and promote vigilantism to suppress any type of resistance.

The national democratic movement and leaders and members of progressive partylists Bayan Muna, Gabriela Women’s Party, Anakpawis and Kabataan have been bearing the brunt of the GMA government’s fascist policy against those who dare challenge the existing socio-political system. Extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearance, torture, illegal arrest and detention are crimes of GMA and her brutal military machine that are still in need of justice for the victims.

Even now, repression against progressives and activists are still in effect. The de-listing of Migrante Partylist and the non-accreditation of the ACT Partylist of progressives teachers and educators and of Courage Partylist of activist government employees are but the latest repressive acts against groups working for basic and comprehensive societal changes.

GMA has set the stage for disrespect to people’s rights, reactionary violence and making a joke out of the supposedly democratic exercise of elections. While the US directs, she plays the lead role and her cohorts are obviously following her acts with impunity.

In the powerplay of the elites driven by imperialist dictates, the people are the ones that are victimized in the end. The Maguindanao tragedy has proven this once again.

Even overseas, our sympathy to the victims and their families is as strong and our call for justice is also as loud. As overseas Filipinos, we demand the following:

1. Conduct swift and impartial investigation of the Maguindanao Massacre.
2. Punish the perpetrators and all those who took part in the killing spree.
3. Compensate the families of the victims of the massacre.
4. End extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture, arbitrary arrest based on fabricated charges and all forms of human rights violations. Justice to all victims of human rights abuses.
5. Junk the Oplan Bantay Laya and end the US-inspired anti-terror hysteria.

In the end, our demand for justice is a demand for social justice, genuine peace and true democracy. Our demand for justice is a demand for change that the Filipino people deserve and will vigorously work for.#

For reference: Norman Uy Carnay, Information Officer, BAYAN – HK, (852)96472567
Cynthia Abdon-Tellez, Chairperson, Gabriela-HK, (852) 97409406
Dolores Balladares, Chairperson, UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK, (852) 97472986

     
     
     
     
     
           
           

Forum and Candle lighting in New York City

Photos courtesy of Bayan-USA

           

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 3, 2009

Maguindanao massacre underscores Filipinos in the US call for Obama administration to pull military aid from the Philippines

AnakBayan Los Angeles demands immediate justice for the 64 massacred women, children, journalists, lawyers, and others in Maguindanao, Philippines on November 23rd. The convoy was on its way to file registration papers for politician Esmael Mangudadatu for the May 2010 elections. This horrific act of brazen violence carried out by around 100 people from the warlord Ampatuan clan along with the Philippine National Police, the Philippine Army, and the Ampatuan private army; committed in broad daylight against the relatives of Mangudadatu, his supporters and 30 journalists.http://anakbayanla.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/2009-11-Maguindanao-massacre.jpg
The involvement of these armed groups, which include members of the Civilian Armed Force Geographical Units (CAFGU) and Civilian Volunteers Organization (CVO) that are subsidized by public funds, is a terribly disturbing example of how our US tax dollars are funding Philippine death squads under the guise of Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL), a national security plan formed in line with the US “War on Terror.” OBL is responsible for arming and training these groups to become merciless killing machines. The audacity of these brutal murderers to commit such crimes comes from the Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) regime’s failure to punish perpetrators of human rights violations and its protection of scandalous figures like the Ampatuan clan, who helped secure fraudulent votes for her in the 2004 and 2007 elections.

While youth and students here are rightfully up in arms over our tuition for higher education rising at ridiculous rates of 32% to supposedly account for the economic crisis, President Obama is trying to dole out more of our tax dollars for military aid to the Philippines! This directly undermines the people's modest victory last year when the US Congress decided to withhold $2 million of its military assistance to the Philippines contingent upon the Philippines’ government cleaning up its atrocious human rights record. The US has already helped fund the killings of at least 1,093 people under GMA’s administration.

Obama turned a blind eye to Arroyo's massive smear campaign against US citizen and FilAm, Melissa Roxas, saying her abduction and torture by suspected military forces this summer was a staged act by opposition groups. Even when the courts concluded Roxas was indeed taken and tortured, Obama never lifted a finger to publicly denounce the Arroyo administration's despicable actions. To this day, no one has been brought to justice for committing these acts of violence and the thousands of other human rights abuses, even while reports from the United Nations hold the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) responsible for continuing to allow the perpetrators to run free. AnakBayan Los Angeles demands that Obama be held accountable and that he take a stand to condemn these atrocities!

Not only was Obama asking US Congress to remove the human rights conditions on US military aid, but the recent Nobel Peace Prize winner also recommended US $15 million in military assistance for 2010. The US Congress outdid his bid by doubling it to $30 million. During US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's recent visit to the Philippines, she continued to tow the Bush line supporting “counter-terrorism” and praising the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). The VFA is in fact a violation of the Philippines’ constitutional ban of foreign troops on Philippine soil, and this disregard for Philippine sovereignty has already resulted in cases like that of Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith who was convicted in December 2006 of raping a 22-year-old Filipina and didn’t even spend one day in Philippine prison. The Obama administration has proven to be essentially no different from the Bush administration in its foreign policies.

Though the accused Andal Ampatuan Jr. has turned himself in and four more members of the Ampatuan clan have been implicated in the Maguindanao massacre, government prosecutors and judges are being threatened and coaxed to go easy on them. Join us next Thursday, December 10, 2009 as we demand an end to human rights violations in recognition of International Human Rights Day. AnakBayan Los Angeles says no to Oplan Bantay Laya! Stop US funding of Philippine death squads! Money for education and jobs, not for torturers and murderers! Junk VFA! Sign the petition "Strike against Impunity, Strike for Peace and Democracy."


"Upholding Human Rights, Life, and Dignity"

** Art exhibit ** Performances ** Open mic **
Thursday December 10, 2009
7:00pm - 9:00pm
F Square Printing (aka Fernando's Hideaway)
519 S. Spring St (between 5th and 6th)
Los Angeles, CA 90013
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AnakBayan Los Angeles is a member organization of BAYAN USA, National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) and the International League of Peoples' Struggle (ILPS).

For more info, please visit anakbayanla.org. To unsubscribe from this email list, please send an email to list-request@anakbayanla.org with the word "unsubscribe" in the subject field.

 

     
     
     
           
           
     
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STATEMENT ON THE MAGUINDANAO MASSACRE

Justice for all the victims of impunity!

Stop Political Killing Now!

 

The Katipunan ng mga Samahan ng mga Migranteng Manggagawa sa Korea (KASAMMAKO) condemns the massacre of 57 persons including 30 journalists and 2 lawyers in Maguindanao that took place in November 23, 2009. As Filipino migrant workers we know that since 2001, when Arroyo came to power, credible reports indicate that 1,118 persons have been extrajudicially killed, 204 disappeared, 1,026 tortured, and 1,932 illegally arrested. Many others fell victims to various forms of human rights violations by elements associated with the government. We find these continuing attacks on human rights damnable. We abhor the devastating climate of impunity in the Philippines and held responsible the Arroyo government for all these killings.

 

Without a doubt this systematic human rights violations are brought about by the counterinsurgency program of the Philippine government, as confirmed by findings of United Nations special rapporteurs and international fact-finding missions. This program encouraged and led to the creation of pro-government paramilitary groups that have been terrorizing local communities allegedly sympathetic to the progressive movement. But the real culprits remain at large because they are cuddled by the political and military officials.

 

The killings in Maguindanao are not only the result of a local political conflict but also the direct consequence of the policy conducted by the Arroyo government in pursuit of an all-out war against the progressive and peoples’ movement and within the framework of Anti-Terrorism scheme of the United States. This policy has led to a virtual standstill of the peace negotiations between the Arroyo government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

 

The United States and the European Union primarily have supported these unjust policies conducted by the Arroyo administration by funding even surreptitious military operations resulting in extrajudicial killings. This has also caused the criminalising and labelling of legitimate organisations and leaders of the progressive movement such as Prof. Jose Maria Sison, NDFP chief political consultant, by including them in list terrorist organizations. Moreover, the US has a direct military presence and intervention through the Visiting Forces Agreement.

 

We call on the Philippine government to take immediate and decisive action to ensure justice is served. We call the Philippine government to implement immediate actions:

 

  1. Arrest and brought to justice all the perpetrators of the Maguindanao massacre and indemnify the families of victims.

  2. Speed-up the investigation of all extrajudicial killings, arrest and punish all those involved.

  3. Rescind immediately the Executive Order 546 which allows local politicians to convert and fund their private armies as legal entities or force multipliers in counter-insurgency program.

  4. Dismantle all private armies of the political warlords in Maguindanao Province and in other parts of the country.

  5. Stop extra-judicial killings in the Philippines.

 

 

MR. POL PAR

Chairperson

Seoul, South Korea

Contact numbers: 82-106-8727-526

December 02, 2009

 

     
     
     
           
     
     
           

 

29 November 2009
PRESS RELEASE
Reference: Connie Bragas-Regalado/ Chairperson/ 09279268984

Moro community offers prayers for Maguindanao massacre victims;
denounces electoral fraud and violence

A Muslim community in Brgy. Culiat, Quezon City today offered prayers to the 64 victims of the Maguindanao massacre, while strongly denouncing electoral fraud and violence and the militarization in Mindanao.

“We mourn for this historic loss of innocent lives at the barbaric hands of an Arroyo-backed political clan drunk with power. So far, we have not been satisfied by the way the government has handled the incident, which ranges from providing special treatment to the Ampatuans to washing their hands off any culpability,” said Connie Bragas-Regalado, Migrante Sectoral Party chairperson.

The migrant leader pointed out that President Arroyo is currently “in a bind.” “If she doesn’t ensure that the Ampatuans are prosecuted, she will face the wrath not only of the entire nation but the entire world. However, if she prosecutes them, the Ampatuans may spill the beans on the truth behind the 2004 elections, when Arroyo got from Maguindanao the votes she needed to win,” said Regalado.

She added that Migrante fears that “The Maguindanao massacre may only be the first in a series of election-related violence that the government is unable to stop and in fact sponsors, through its support for politically-allied warlords.”

The group also supported the call to dismantle all private armies and para-military groups, in light of the fact that these were used by the Ampatuans in carrying out the grisly murders. “By virtue of Executive Order 546 that put up Civilian Volunteer Organizations all over the country, the government in effect paid for the bullets and created the vicious machinery that killed the victims in Maguindanao,” Regalado pointed out.

The Moro community, mostly refugees who fled the war in Mindanao and are awaiting for their turn to work overseas, also called for an end to militarization and for peace based on justice. “Moro migrant workers are not happy being forced away from their homelands and families because of an intense climate of fear that such incidents of violence perpetuate. They can only live in peace when the government stops funding wars and warlords,” Regalado said.###

     
           
     
     
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