BAYAN's call on International Human Rights Day:

End the reign of terror! Gloria must go!
 

Manila  Tagum, Compostela Valley    Davao    Cotabato   Cagayan de Oro     Legazpi, Albay   

 

 Washington DC       The Hague, Netherlands      Bologna, Italy      Belgium

 

 

December 10, 2009

 

 

Video Clips

 

Bonus Tracks: Palparan hounded in Negros picket rally

 

 

   
   
Cagayan de Oro City Legazpi City
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Mendiola, Manila
   
           

 

Press Statement
December 10, 2009

End the reign of terror! Gloria must go!
BAYAN statement on International Human Rights Day

The US-backed Arroyo regime holds the ultimate responsibility for the gross human rights abuses in the Philippines. It has systematically unleashed state-terror on the people and has caused the deaths of hundreds of activists, human rights workers, lawyers, environmentalists, church-workers, women, youth, workers and farmers.

Justice for the victims cannot be expected from a regime that continues to deny state responsibility for the killings. Justice cannot be achieved from a regime whose main concern right now is perpetuating itself in power at all cost.

The imposition of Martial Law in Maguindanao province is consistent with the fascist character of the regime. If it passes through Congress and the Supreme Court, Martial Law can be used again in other provinces to scuttle the elections and to allow Mrs. Arroyo to remain in power beyond her constitutionally mandated term.

Those seeking elective positions in 2010 must realize that their efforts will all be for naught if Mrs. Arroyo gets away with her Martial Law declaration in Maguindanao. The biggest threat to the 2010 polls now comes from Malacanang which is ever more emboldened to use its Martial Law powers.

The foreign backers of the Arroyo regime appear silent in the face of the Martial Law declaration. The US government, the main funder and supplier of weapons to the Arroyo regime, appears to have given its consent to its puppet in Malacanang. The US will also continue to increase its military aid to the Arroyo regime despite the long list of human rights abuses of the regime.

As we have learned from the Marcos dictatorship, the most effective way of resisting Martial rule and the perpetuation of dictators is through the collective and militant action of the people.

So long as Arroyo remains in power, there can be no justice for the victims of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and torture. So long as the masterminds and implementors of the government counter-insurgency program Bantay Laya are not made accountable, the climate of impunity will persist. So long as the State is not made accountable for its role in funding and arming warlords in Mindanao and other parts of the country, the victims of the Ampatuan massacre will not know real justice.

Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is THE problem. Her reign of terror must end. Gloria must go! ###

 

     
           
     
     
     

 

Statement on the International Day of Protest Against Media Killings
Press Statement
December 9, 2009

Statement on the International Day of Protest Against Media Killings
Today we march for justice together with our brothers and sisters in media.

The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, through its chapters nationwide and abroad, expresses its solidarity with the calls by the International Federation of Journalists and the November 23 Movement to launch global protests against media killings and to demand justice for the victims of the Ampatuan massacre.

We join the calls for an end to impunity. We welcome the fact that the November 23 Movement has taken an unequivocal opposition to Martial Law in Maguindanao.

The Arroyo regime is ultimately responsible for the scores of media practitioners killed since 2001. The climate of impunity cultivated by this regime has not only resulted in the deaths of journalists but also of hundreds of social activists, human rights workers, lawyers and church workers.

The Arroyo regime will go down in history as having the worst human rights record since the end of the Marcos dictatorship. In fact, it has consistently emulated Marcosian rule through extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture, the desire to perpetuate itself in power, and now recently, the declaration of martial law.

The Arroyo regime and its police and military are also responsible for arming and supporting the Ampatuan clan in Maguindanao. Arroyo benefited from election fraud in Malacanang even as it funded and provided weapons to the Ampatuans. With the declaration of martial law, these glaring facts may be covered up since those accused of supporting the Ampatuans --Arroyo and the AFP -- are the very same ones in charge of martial rule.

It is plain to see that the regime of impunity that has claimed the lives of both journalists and activists is linked with the very existence of the Arroyo administration. Real justice for the victims cannot be achieved under a regime whose priority is to perpetuate itself in power at all cost. Real justice cannot be achieved under a regime that carries out a policy of suppression of its most vocal critics.

We call on our brothers and sisters in the media to keep the flame of truth burning amid these very dark times. We call on the media to remain vigilant as the Arroyo regime flexes it Martial Law powers in the hopes of using it again to stay in power. We vow to continue struggling for justice for all victims of impunity.

The reign of terror must end. Gloria must go.
 

     
           
     
     
     

 

Press Statement
December 12, 2009

We remain vigilant: Statement on the lifting of Martial Law

The lifting of Proclamation 1959 placing the province of Maguindanao under Martial Law comes in the wake of serious legal and factual loopholes being raised by various sectors opposed to the declaration of martial law. The declaration is patently defective and unnecessary and carries with it an agenda that can be used to keep Mrs. Arroyo in power beyond 2010. Even before its lifting, Proclamation 1959 could not stand the serious challenges hurled against it by legal luminaries, lawmakers, activists and various concerned citizens and sectors. Malacanang could not go on justifying a fabricated "rebellion".

Despite the lifting, we urge the Supreme Court to rule on the petitions filed by various groups because of the serious questions on the factual bases of the declaration. We hope the Supreme Court will rule in favor of the petitioners, as it did when it struck down PP 1017 which placed the entire country under a state of national emergency in 2006.

We call on the Filipino people to remain ever vigilant and to oppose the use of martial law in the near future, especially as the elections approaches. Having done it once on questionable grounds, the threat is there that Arroyo can do it again in the future. The temptation may be too hard for her to resist, especially when her hold on power is on the line.

We will continue to fight for justice for the victims of the Ampatuan massacre. We demand
accountability from the government that has sponsored, funded and coddled local warlords for the longest time. We demand accountability from the police and military officials who have provided weapons for these warlords. To this day, not one police, military or defense official has been charged for the illegal transfer of weapons and ammunition to the Ampatuans.

We will continue to hold the Arroyo government accountable for the climate of impunity that has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of activists, journalists, lawyers, church people, farmers and workers over the past nine years. ###

     
           
     
     
     

 

PRESS STATEMENT December 10, 2009
Student Christian Movement of the Philippines
Reference: Ma. Cristina Guevarra, Chairperson (09186106275)

Human Rights Day 2009: A day of reckoning against Arroyo

Today is a different Human Rights Day for the Filipino people. We gather ourselves, youth and different sectors not only in commemoration, but in reckoning.

For nine years, we have demanded the accountability of the Arroyo government for the thousands of human rights violations under its reign. Yet it is the tormentors, the badged criminals get all the praise, government promotion and vindication from the ruling regime. There is not only a culture of impunity over the country, but a president polishing its seal with the blood of its critics, of the people clamoring for justice and human rights.

With only six months remaining of her term, the Arroyo government is catching up to reach the target of its counter-insurgency program, Oplan Bantay Laya. According to KARAPATAN, OBL is "by far the bloodiest and most brutal counter-insurgency campaign unleashed on the Filipino people by any president."

We do not only have the figures. We have the families, friends and witnesses who stand and demand justice from all parts of the country.

For the youth, we have our friends and colleagues who were killed in broad daylight, who were abducted while taking up the challenge of their task to speak for those who cannot speak, and hope that all these injustices will be surpassed by the collective action of the people.

Two weeks have passed since the brutal massacre in Maguindanao. The whole world was in shock in witnessing the worst carnage in recent history, the worst killing of journalists and desecration of life and human dignity. Yet, it has happened again and again in the nine years of Arroyo.

We did not only prove that there is impunity, we also affirmed that all this should end. As the people have defeated Martial Law before, we will do it again. Martial Law will never be the answer for the cries of justice of the victims of the Maguindanao massacre.

We join all the victims in the pursuit of justice, and we can only turn our wrath to a government which has not only allowed massacres and private armies under its reign, but has used its power its sowing terror on the people to justify its rule. This government is bound to fail and be thrown in the most rejected annals of history.

Today is a different Human Rights Day for the Filipino people. We salute all the victims, survivors and the people who have time and again spoke out and marched for justuice. We should all make sure that this will be Arroyo’s last, we will also make sure that the criminals and tormentors of the people will not escape the people’s verdict. NEVER AGAIN TO MARTIAL LAW! ###

 

     
     
     
     
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xPRESS RELEASE
Share
Today at 1:24pm
December 1, 2009

Reference: Evangeline Hernandez, Convener of HUSTISYA!
Contact nos.02 4342837 or 09158562151

Victims of human rights violations throw red paint at GMA’s face
as they condemn extrajudicial killings
including the Ampatuan massacre

The group HUSTISYA opens today the 10-day long commemoration of the International Human Rights Day, with an explosion of outrage symbolized by red paint thrown at a target board with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s face at the bull’s eye surrounded by faces of other notorious human rights violators.

HUSTISYA included in the target the face of Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan, Jr. as a gesture of solidarity with the relatives of the victims of the Ampatuan Massacre. HUSTISYA is composed of the wives, husbands, sons, daughters and other loved ones of the victims of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and other gross human rights violations committed under GMA’s presidency.

“The Ampatuan Massacre is by far the worst and most deplorable case of extrajudicial killing,” Mrs. Evangeline Hernandez, convenor of Victims of Arroyo United for Justice (HUSTISYA!) said. “As victims of human rights violations ourselves, we feel with the families and are one with them in their demand for justice.”

“The Ampatuans, following the example of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, have made our country a dangerous zone for those who criticize them, for the media and for the rest of the Filipino people,” Hernandez adds.
According to her, even before the Ampatuan massacre, mass killings have been happening under the national counter insurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya or OBL.

OBL gives license to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to form paramilitary units, like those that comprise the Ampatuan clan’s private army, to assist it in attacking targeted civilians and legitimate people’s organizations. Together they conduct military operations, surveillance and commit acts of aggression against their perceived “enemies of the state.” Staunch operators of OBL are “the butcher” retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr., National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, former Secretary of the Department of Justice Raul Gonzales, former AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Hermogenes Esperon. Current and former Executive Secretaries Eduardo Ermita and Ronaldo Puno are added to the list.

“As the blood of innocent civilians and martyred media workers and public interest lawyers dries up without justice, we, in HUSTISYA will keep our call that these fiends should be found, prosecuted and punished,” she reiterated. Hernandez, who led the throwing of red paint, is the mother of Benjaline, martyred Deputy Secretary General of the Karapatan Chapter in Southern Mindanao, who was killed in a massacre in 2002 while conducting a fact finding mission in Mindanao.

Desaparecidos members, who are families of those who were abducted and remain missing, also participated in the protest action. The victims’ relatives took turns in throwing balloons of red paint at the faces of GMA and her minions of state terrorists while shouting the names of their martyred loved ones. “This is for my mother, Gloria; … for my husband, Rudy; for my son, Gabriel; … for my father, Leo; … for my brother, Jonas!”

“I say this to you, Mrs. Arroyo,” Hernandez cries out, “we, the families of YOUR victims will not allow you to stay in power any longer. We promise on the memory of our kin who were killed and are still missing, we will make you pay for your crimes against humanity. Your next office will be behind bars!” Hernandez concluded. ###
Elizabeth Calubad, wife of Rogelio Calubad and mother of Gabriel Calubad both victims of enforced disappearance throw of paint bombs at the "rouge gallery" in Mendiola Bridge.

     
     
     
     
     
     

For Immediate Release
December 1, 2009
Reference: Ryan Leano, Secretary General of SanDiwa National Alliance
of Fil-Am Youth
email: sandiwa.national@gmail.com

Filipina/o American Youth Denounces the Arroyo Administration's
Renewed Campaign Against Activists
Scare Tactics by “Special Intelligence Group” Claims the Life of a
Migrant Organizer

SanDiwa National Alliance of Fil-Am Youth mourns and expresses outrage over the death of Danilo Benalo, a member of the Center for Filipino Seafarers (CENTERFILS), who, after harassment by suspected state agents, died of a stroke on November 24. Benalo was an organizer for Migrante International, a worldwide alliance of grassroots organizations addressing concerns of Filipino migrants.

Members of a “special intelligence group” confronted Benalo around noon on November 23 and threatened to harm his family should he refuse to cooperate with the group. They warned him that they had
information about him, including his record as an activist and the whereabouts of his family. In distress Benalo agreed to meet with the state agents again that afternoon. However, when a friend, with whom
he had shared the incident and whom he had promised to call after his meeting, tried to reach him later that day, Benalo had already been rushed to a hospital due to a stroke. Benalo died the next morning.

SanDiwa not only grieves the loss of a dedicated migrant organizer, but also condemns the Arroyo administration's renewed campaign against activists critical of the government, under the direction of newly appointed Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzeles. The death of Mr. Benalo is an addition to the growing list of political killings, enforced disappearances and torture of activists committed by military
and secret intelligence groups under the Arroyo regime. “This is no different from the abduction of student activists such as Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan, the abduction and torture of Filipino American
Melissa Roxas, and the violent dispersal of student rallyists at Malacanang last August. All these human rights violations were committed by state forces under the direct watch of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. All the victims were people advocating for human rights and fighting for positive and genuine change in Philippine society,” said Aurora Victoria David, officer of Stanford University’s Pilipino American Student Union, a member organization of Sandiwa.

“Because of desperation of the Arroyo government in quelling resistance, it is willing to use any strategy—scare tactics, torture, or direct abduction and killing—to silence its critics. This brutal campaign indiscriminately victimizes activists, journalists, women, and church people. As long as you are vocal in criticizing the government, you are an enemy and a target.” declared Anne Beryl Corotan, Chairperson of Sandiwa. With the 2010 Philippine elections fast approaching, and due to fear of losing their positions, those in power resort to coercive acts. The recent massacre of journalists and innocent civilians over local electoral campaigns in Maguindanao, and the delisting of Migrante Partylist from contending in the coming elections are just a couple of examples of countless repressive tactics utilized by the Arroyo administration and its allies in their desperate clutch to power.

Despite all of the repression, SanDiwa vows to continue to educate, organize, and mobilize Filipina/os in the United States in demanding justice for these violations of human rights. "We will continue to
protect the rights of the people and will not stop until justice is brought to Mr. Benalo and all victims of human rights violations in the Philippines,” ended Corotan.
--
SanDiwa, the youth and students arm of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON), is a national alliance of youth, students, and community youth organizations, united to (re)educate, celebrate,
and advocate for issues that affect our Filipino communities in the United States and in the Philippines. As an alliance, we seek to work cross-culturally in reclaiming our humanity and to work collaboratively with “other” minority groups to protect the rights and welfare of young Filipinos all over the United States.

 

     
     
     
     
     
     

 

News Release
December 3, 2009

Reference: Gertrudes Ranjo-Libang, Deputy Secretary-Internals (0920-9836266)

Day for Political Prisoners
Free All Political Prisoners, Jail Arroyo -GABRIELA


During the observance of the Day for Political Prisoners, GABRIELA joins other organizations in calling for the immediate release of all political prisoners during a protest action in front of the Camp Crame.

According to the group, there are at least 223 political prisoners in the country, 28 of them are women.

“These people are being persecuted for their political beliefs, languishing in jail like common criminals. As they remain unjustly detained, political prisoners, especially the women and minors, are vulnerable to harassment and violence,” said Gertrudes Ranjo-Libang, GABRIELA’s Deputy Secretary for Internal.

“Release all political prisoners, and put behind bars instead no less than Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, whose policies and political ambitions have created lawlessness and culture of impunity in the country. While the innocents continue to languish in jail, Arroyo, who had allowed the arming of civilian volunteer organizations of her lapdogs which led to the brutal massacre of at least 57 people in Maguindanao, remains free—free even to run for a seat in congress in the upcoming election,” added Ranjo-Libang.

Among the women political prisoners in the country is former lay missionary and peace advocate Angie Ipong who was illegally arrested in March of 2005 in Misamis Occidental. Ipong, who was 60 years at the time of arrest, suffered from torture, including sexual abuse, under the elements of CIDG and Armed Forces of the Philippines- Southern Command. At date, Ipong remains in jain in Pagadian City. ##

     
           
     
     
     

 

IBON Special Report / 8 December 2009
Reference: Mr Sonny Africa (IBON research head)

ON HUMAN RIGHTS DAY: 25 MILLION FILIPINOS DENIED RIGHT TO WORK

As International Human Rights Day is observed this week, millions of Filipinos are deprived of the right to decent work, one of the most basic economic rights.

According to research group IBON, decent work is a vital starting point for human development. However a job in itself is not enough: workers have a right to decent wages, salaries, benefits and working conditions. If all these are considered, this means that some 25.2 million Filipinos are either jobless or in poor quality work– the unemployed, unpaid family workers, own-account workers and non-regular wage and salary workers combined.

Even before the global crisis that erupted late last year, the Philippines was already facing the worst joblessness in its history. The final quarterly Labor Force Survey (LFS) results for 2009 will be released on December 15– these will likely show that things have gotten even worse.

In 2008, there were some 4.4 million unemployed with a true unemployment rate of around 11.5%, the most number of jobless Filipinos in the country’s history. These estimates try to correct for the government’s change in definition of ‘unemployed’ in April 2005 which reduces the number of unemployed by around 1.5 million and the unemployment rate by around 3.5 percentage points.

The average unemployment rate for the period 2001-2008 is 11.3% which is the worst eight-year period of sustained high joblessness since 1956 or as far back as records go back to. Unemployment rates were much lower in 1956-1960 (8%), 1961-1970 (7.3%), 1971-1980 (5.4%), 1981-1990 (10.2%) and 1991-2000 (9.8%).

This trend is unchanged even if we consider two major changes in methodology: the change in labor force coverage in 1976 (when the threshold age for being considered part of the labor force was raised from ten years old to 15 years old) and the change in the reference period in 1976-1987 (when the past quarter was used, instead of the past week reference period used before 1976 and from 1987 until today). The current crisis of joblessness would probably be even more pronounced without these two changes.

The figure of 4.4 million unemployed however still grossly understates the seriousness of the country’s jobs crisis. There is also the poor quality of so many jobs created with millions more in insecure, unprotected, and poorly or non-earning work. In 2008 among those considered employed were 4.2 million “unpaid family workers” and 12.1 million “own-account workers” stereotypically covering those in informal sector work.

To this can also be added 4.5 million non-regular wage and salary workers or those with casual, contractual, probationary, apprentice or seasonal status. This is estimated by extrapolating the finding of the 2007/2008 BLES Integrated Survey (BITS) of the Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics (BLES) that some one in four workers in non-agricultural establishments with 20 or more workers had non-regular status.

This poor quality of much work is already partly reflected in the underemployment figure in 2008 of 6.6 million which covers those employed but nonetheless still looking for more work and income. Also, in 2008 around 11.9 million or over one in three jobs (35.5%) were in just part-time work.

The 25.2 million Filipinos denied of decent work is equivalent to 65.4% of the country’s labor force of some 38.5 million in 2008 (the labor force figure also adjusting for the April 2005 change in definition).

The domestic jobs crisis goes far in explaining the unprecedented forced migration happening. The latest official estimate of the stock of overseas Filipinos is 8.73 million as of end-2007 consisting of 5.03 million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and 3.69 million permanent residents or immigrants. In 2008 1.24 million Filipinos were deployed abroad or almost 3,400 leaving per day.

While the economy is reported to be expanding with gross domestic product (GDP) growing on an average of 4.9% during the Arroyo administration, the deteriorating domestic jobs situation and record OFWs underscore that growth is distorted and the economy is failing to deliver decent work opportunities for Filipinos. These underpin the rising poverty in the country and IBON’s latest October 2009 national survey already had 71% of Filipinos rating themselves as poor.

Economic policy has to be radically reoriented to building the solid and more genuinely job-creating foundations of the domestic economy. Immediate welfare improvements can also be achieved by increasing wages and benefits and intervening to ensure job security. The gross imbalance between employers and their workers also needs to be remedied by, among others, giving greater room for organizing labor and strengthening unions, which are also among of the basic rights of Filipinos. (end)


IBON Foundation, Inc. is an independent development institution established in 1978 that provides research, education, publications, information work and advocacy support on socioeconomic issues.


 

     
     
     
     
     
     

 

Gloria Arroyo: a certified fascist and ultimate human rights violator
(A statement on the occasion of the 61st Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Rubi Del Mundo
Spokesperson
National Democratic Front-Southern Mindanao
December 10, 2009

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines-Southern Mindanao calls Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo a certified fascist and dictator with the martial law declaration in Maguindanao only among her latest and shameless scheme to continue to perpetuate in power and commit human rights violations.

With the regime’s Proclamation No. 1959, Ms. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo mocks not only the commemoration of International Human Rights Day but also the death of the 57 victims of the Maguindanao carnage whose bloody fate was conceived because of her widespread coddling of warlords like the Ampatuans. Arroyo resurrects the horrors of martial law. And although the move is an overkill reaction and insulting to the intelligence of the Filipinos, it poses great danger as Arroyo desperately tests the waters to see if she can implement Martial Law in the entire country to continue her grip on power.

Killings, bloodshed, cold-blood murders and human rights abuses dominate the eight-year rule of Arroyo. She remains callous to criticisms that reverberate even up to the international community. The Maguindanao carnage, whose victims have been added to the long list of extrajudicial killings, is glaring evidence that extrajudicial killings in the country are sponsored by the Arroyo regime.

Arroyo has given marching orders to liquidate political dissenters through Oplan Bantay Laya, considered as the most vicious and murderous counterrevolutionary program that any reactionary GRP president has ever designed.

It is Oplan Bantay Laya that has created monsters in the likeness of warlords like the Ampatuans who have been enjoying wide support and protection from the Malacañang. Oplan Bantay Laya has unleashed military and paramilitary forces in the regime’s brazen conduct of targeting and killing members of political activists, peasants, lumads, workers, church people, journalists, lawyers, health personnel in Southern Mindanao and all those who resist this hated regime.

The OBL in Southern Mindanao has taken a more vicious turn by targeting families and relatives of members of New People’s Army in its vain attempt to demoralize NPA leaders and members. After the rape-slay of Rebelyn Pitao, daughter of Kumander Parago, the military recently killed Conrado Cañete, the 57 year old father of one of the region’s NPA commanders, Ka Jinggoy. Canete’s dead body was found dumped on a garbage site last November 29.

Pitao and Cañete are only among the 116 victims of extrajudicial killings in the region since Arroyo assumed power in 2001. Eleven cases of extrajudicial killings were committed from January to November of this year alone. A local human rights group monitored 380 cases of human rights violations affecting 29,628 individuals and 4,639 families from January to November of this year. Cases of extrajudicial killing, frustrated murder, abduction, arbitrary and illegal arrest, torture, threat, harassment, intimidation, encampment in school and communities, indiscriminate firing and bombing, forcible displacement and evacuation, forced recruitment on Barangay Defense Systems and paramilitary groups like Task Force Gantangan, among others accounted for these violations.

The 10th Infantry Division-Armed Forces of the Philippines has been active in vilifying leaders and members of legal and progressive organizations as proven in the expose JICC “Agila†3rd Quarter 2007 report. Some of the individuals whose names and organizations included in the military’s dossier were already killed while others are subjected to harassment and surveillance.

Ruthless members, paramilitary groups and death squads of the 10th ID of the Eastern Mindanao Command perpetrated these crimes. Arroyo, being the commander-in-chief of the AFP, lauds the military for its bloody accomplishment of carrying out these atrocities, and in fact has given accolades to 10th ID-AFP officials who all stink with blood like Reynaldo Mapagu, Carlos Holganza, Leo Ferrer, and Eduardo Del Rosario. Now, retired general Jovito Palparan, Arroyo’s most accomplished hound-dog, aims to bring his bloody campaign in the Davao region.

The NDF-Southern Mindanao blames the US imperialist state for its direct role and complicity to the many crimes of the Arroyo government and the previous regimes against the people.

For one, the Joint US Military Advisory Group (Jusmag) has been drafting and creating counter-insurgency programs for the AFP. It has created the Oplan Bantay Laya, patterned after the Operation Phoenix during the Vietnam War. It has been giving various trainings for Philippine military officers and men, aside from the US being the main supplier of military weapons and equipment to the AFP.

Further, more than half of the $667 million assistance of the US to the Philippines was directed to Mindanao, the US’ second front in its war on terror. This same financial aid has funded the OBL campaign, enriched the vassal-warlord Ampatuans and their private armies; and has been pocketed by AFP generals.

As the Philippines becomes the leading recipient of US Internal Military Education and Training funds in East Asia and the Pacific, and ranks 12th with the biggest share of US Foreign Military Financing in the world, the Arroyo regime’s subservience to the US imperialist state worsens.

The US’ war on terror -- aimed to defeat national liberation movements and eventually dominate the world for its economic, military and political interests -- is complicit in the crimes committed by Arroyo’s bloody counterrevolutionary program and is responsible for the burgeoning of private armies like those of the Ampatuan warlords.

The NDF-Southern Mindanao calls on the Filipino people to frustrate the criminal designs of the US-Arroyo regime. Enough of this regime’s butchers, criminal coddlers, and warmongers!

The US-backed Arroyo and her gang must pay for their crimes against the Filipino people! Oust the US-Arroyo Regime!

(Sgd) Rubi del Mundo
Spokesperson
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
Southern Mindanao

     
     
           

xUS-Arroyo regime surpasses Marcos dictatorship as worst violator of human rights

Jorge "Ka Oris" Madlos
Spokesperson
National Democratic Front of the Philippines-Mindanao
December 10, 2009

On the occasion of the anniversary of International Human Rights Day, the revolutionary forces in Mindanao reiterate their continuing respect for human rights in the face of the US-Arroyo regime's utter disregard for human rights. The new democratic revolution being waged by the CPP-NPA-NDF is at the same time a national struggle in defense of the human rights of the vast majority of the Filipino people.

The National Democratic Front-Mindanao strongly condemns the US-Arroyo regime for its gross violation of human rights. In its nine years in power, it has surpassed even the US-Marcos regime's brutality in its more than two decades in power.

The US-Arroyo regime's record of human rights violations, especially in the implementation of Oplan Bantay Laya and its record of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture, harassment, mass evacuations and terrorism have become unprecedented and have turned out to be far worse than that of the Marcos dictatorship and all previous puppet reactionary regimes.

Its repeated attempts in the past to impose martial rule in the country and its exploitation of the widespread indignation at the Ampatuan Massacre to declare martial law in Maguindanao as a trial balloon for wider application reveal the US-Arroyo regime's propensity for tyrannical rule and its obsession with outdoing Marcos.

The massive use of the military, police, CAFGU, SCAA and CVO as private armies of Arroyo's warlord allies was purposely promoted under her administration. Mrs. Arroyo's political allies use the military and police to silence local opposition and lend their hand in the fight against the revolutionary forces the same way the regime uses these forces to commit extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and other human rights violations to silence its critics and remain in power. These forces have become mercenaries of Arroyo, her political allies and big foreign and comprador capitalists to coerce people into submission in the face of massive and shameless graft and corruption, abuse of power and greed for profit.

The US-Arroyo regime's OBL 1 and 2 and continuing massive military operations in the cities and countryside have spawned gross human rights violations throughout the country. Since the onset of the US-Arroyo regime in 2001, there have been 1,118 victims of extrajudicial killings and 204 victims of enforced disappearances. Such is her rule of impunity that even media people are not spared. There have already been 97 killings of media people under her regime including the 30 killed in the Ampatuan Massacre on November 23. The total so far of 57 victims of the massacre add to the already large number of those killed by government military, paramilitary, police and security forces and by warlord private armies. That such a vicious crime was clearly committed to ensure "victory" in the coming 2010 elections more grotesquely dramatizes the violence and cheating that Arroyo and her military and warlord minions have been doing in the past elections.

The US-Arroyo regime has poured the largest number of her military forces in Mindanao, with more than 11 infantry battalions and several tens of thousands of foot soldiers operating in the island. Not satisfied, it recruits, trains and arms several tens of thousands more of paramilitary forces such as CAFGUs, SCAAs and CVOs, adding to already large numbers of private security forces of warlords and big commercial logging and mining companies. These paramilitary forces are at the beck and call of political allies and big mining and logging companies, and are practically converted into their private armies to protect their interests, even as they are paid for by the ordinary taxpayers. Arroyo's Armed Forces of the Philippines creates, supports and arms Lumad paramilitary groups like the Bungkatol Liberation Front (BULIF), Wild Dogs and Task Force Gantangan-Bagani Force (TFG-BF) and tugs them along in military operations especially in Lumad communities to sow terror and induce conflict among the Lumad people.

These operations have resulted in more than 60 reported cases of extrajudicial killings in Mindanao in 2009 alone, victimizing mostly peasant and Lumad leaders of protests against big commercial mining and logging operations and against land conversions of large lardlord holdings to avoid coverage by agrarian reform.

In the Caraga Region there have been 11 recent cases of extrajudicial killings, including one where a two-month old infant was also killed, two cases of frustrated killings, a case of abduction with torture, and two more cases of torture. In Northern Mindanao, from 2004 to date, there have been 37 cases of extrajudicial killings, the most recent done by the paramilitary Bungkatol Liberation Front (BULIF) and 23rd IB against three Lumad datus in September 28, 2009 in Agusan del Sur. In Southern Mindanao Region, from January to November 26, 2009, there had been 10 cases of extrajudicial killings, bringing up the total to 115 victims since 2001. Who cannot forget the rape and murder of Ka Parago's daughter Rebelyn Pitao last March in Carmen, Davao Norte, and the killing of the child Grecil Galacio on March 31, 2009 in New Bataan, Compostela Valley? In the SOCKSARGENDS area, there have been 25 victims of extrajudicial killings and 25 victims of enforced disappearance since 2002. In Muslim areas, there have been 16 cases of extrajudicial killings, 43 cases of frustrated killings and two cases of enforced disappearances in this year alone, not counting the 57 Maguindanao massacre victims.

Thousands have been forced to evacuate from their communities because of aerial bombings and military operations in an effort to cleanse the area of protests against the entry of big commercial mining and logging operations, as part of the government's counter-insurgency program. In the Caraga region, more than 900 families were dislocated from their communities in 2009 alone. As schools and residences of families continue to be used as military barracks, the children are prevented from attending schools and their human rights violated. In the Southern Mindanao Region, there have been 22 recent cases of forced evacuations, displacing 930 families (5,129 individuals). In the Northern Mindanao Region, forced evacuations have affected 5,193 families (29,657 individuals) in 2008, mostly in Lanao. In February to May 2009, there have been four instances of aerial bombardment resulting in the forced evacuation of 4,553 individuals. In the SOCSARGENDS area, there have been 307 cases of human rights violations involving 34,624 individuals and 3,704 families since 2006. There have been many more cases of human rights violations in Muslim areas, including the forced evacuation of hundreds of thousands.

The active role of the US armed forces in committing these human rights violations cannot be discounted. Various reports have cited the presence and direct participation of US troops in combat operations across the island, especially in Zamboanga City; Tawi-tawi; Jolo, Sulu; Lamitan, Basilan; and Maguindanao. Human rights violations committed against the Filipino people by the mercenary AFP, PNP and paramilitary forces mirror that of the human rights violations committed by US soldiers in Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantanamo Bay and other parts of the world where they operate.

But the increasingly fascist methods of the US-Arroyo regime have not cowed the people into silence. Instead of becoming afraid, people are even bolder in raising their outrage against the record gross human rights violations of the ruling regime, decrying the culture of impunity it has been sowing and resisting its intensifying fascist rule. More and more are taking to the streets to decry the rotten, plunderous and brutal US-Arroyo regime and call for the ouster of an utterly corrupt, liar and tyrannical president. More and more people are joining the ranks of the revolutionary forces and the New People's Army, taking up arms and waging people's war against an unjust and cruel state and system currently presided over by the US-Arroyo regime.

Uphold human rights!

Make the US-Arroyo Regime pay for its crimes against humanity!

Oust Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo!

     
     
     
           
     
           

xPRESS RELEASE
Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines

Arroyo must be removed to attain real justice for the victims of human rights violations
December 10, 2009

The National Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas today expressed solidarity with the observation of International Human Rights Day and said that the Arroyo regime must go to attain real justice for the victims of human rights violations. "The Nov. 23 massacre in Maguindanao and the subsequent martial law imposition there have exposed the belly of beast," said NDF-EV spokesperson Fr. Santiago Salas. "Impunity reigns with the killings of innocent civilians abetted by the government, and with Arroyo's reliance on the military for self-preservation. In the same way, the people of Eastern Visayas suffer gross and widespread human rights violations under Oplan Bantay Laya, as well as the state of virtual martial rule wherever there are intense military operations."

Fr. Salas said that human rights violations abound because of the Arroyo regime's greed for continuing power in the face of the people's hatred of its corruption, fascist terrorism and puppetry to foreign interests. "In Eastern Visayas, the Arroyo regime's Oplan Bantay Laya drew condemnations for political killings such as that of Fr. Cecilio Lucero and Dr. Bartolome Resuello this year in Northern Samar. Other victims have even gone to the media to expose much more rights violations in the countryside. These include extrajudicial killings, torture, harassment, economic blockades and other violations in Silvino Lobos, Las Navas, San Jose de Buan, Basey and other areas in Samar, and parts of Northern Leyte as well. Many peasants have themselves trooped to Tacloban to expose abuses against civilians such as in Gen. MacArthur, Eastern Samar, as well as the bombings of civilian communities in Basey. The people's denunciations expose the 8th Infantry Division's cowardly attacks on civilians and help explain why the New People's Army is growing stronger with more support and recruits, to the point lately that the military is virtually admitting Oplan Bantay Laya's defeat."

The NDF-EV spokesperson urged the people to struggle for Arroyo's removal to end the climate of impunity, achieve justice for the victims of human rights violators, and punish the perpetrators up to the very top. "The country is in political crisis because of Arroyo's martial law and brazen drive to remain seated. This will certainly mean more political repression and human rights violations ahead. But the people's movement for change can remove Arroyo, whether or not through the election. Thus the people must remain vigilant and pursue the various means of struggle to bring Arroyo to account and to realize justice for her many victims. Pursuing the armed struggle also has the longer perspective of finally ending the recurring tyrannies exemplified by Marcos and Arroyo and establishing a democratic government of the people."#

Reference:
Roy Santos
NDF-EV Media Liaison Officer
Cellphone No. +639196199369
E-mail: ndfevis@gmail. com

     
   
   

Panaw Kalinaw (Exodus for Peace)

Cagayan de Oro City

Northern Mindanao Region (Bukidnon, Agusan del Sur and Norte, Misamis Oriental and Lanao del Sur and Norte)

Photos courtesy of BAYAN-NMR

 

   
 

 

Some notes on the commemoration of the International Human Rights Day in Northern Mindanao
December 10, 2009

Led by the peace and human rights group Panaw Kalinaw (Exodus for Peace) More than 5,000 Lumads, Moro and peasants from Bukidnon, Agusan del Sur and Norte, Misamis Oriental and Lanao del Sur and Norte trooped to Cagayan de Oro City to call for an end to Oplan Bantay Laya, denouncing extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearance, militarization and displacements.

Earlier (10am), they picketed the 4th ID in Camp Evangelista, Patag, CDO, and called for the pull-out of military troops in their areas. They also called for justice and indemnification to the victims of extra-judicial killings in the region now numbering to 13 in 2009 alone.

Bae Adelfa Belayong, wife of the slained officer Datu Mampaagi Belayong of the Kalumbay Regional Lumad Organization, called to punish the perpetrators for the death of her anti-mining advocate husband. Belayong was elected as vice chair of Kalumbay in their regional assembly held yesterday.

From the 4th ID, the group marched to Kiosko Kagawasan in Divisoria for a culmination rally.

Rallyists tagged Lt. Mario Goc-ong as the Palparan in the region

Bayan-NMR Secretary General Kristin Lim on her inclusion in the OB List: “The 4th ID is criminal to the core. They want to look like guiltless in the eyes of the public by calling a dialogue with the victims of HRVs and the protesters, but they are attacking us at the back..” Lim received death threats 2 days ago from an unknown sender believed to be from the 4th ID.

Karapatan-NMR Chair Beverly Musni: “Arroyo’s hand is bloodstained. She is the brain behind the Oplan Bantay Laya, official known as National Internal Security Plan (NISP) that caused the death of 1,118 since she assumed power in 2001. Kriminal siya, kinahanglang singlon, dili paikyason.”

For reference:
Kristin Lim, 0927-848-9155
Secretariat, Panaw Kalinaw

 

     
     
     
     
     
   
Davao City

Photos courtesy of BAYAN-SMR

   

 

Davao City-In commemoration of the International Human Rights Day, around 10,000 protesters marched yesterday calling for justice for all the victims of extra-judicial killings and human rights violations.
Left: Evangeline Pitao, wife of Kumader Parago of the NPA and mother of Rebelyn Pitao who was brutally murdered by agents of the military intelligence.
Center" Jong Monson, son of slain Dos Monson

 

     
     
     
     
     
 
     
     
     

Tugtugan para sa hustisya at kapayapaan. Gamit ang musika, nanawagan ang Exodus for Justice and Peace (EJP) kasama ang mga lokal na banda sa Davao City ng hustisya para sa mga biktima ng Ampatuan Massacre at mga politikal na pamamaslang.
Location: Rizal Park ( First leg , December 5, 2009)
Matina Town Square ( 2nd leg, December 6, 2009)

 

     
   

Tagum, Compostela Valley

Photos courtesy of BAYAN-SMR

   

15 political prisoners in Compostela valley province rehabilitation center, Mankilam, Tagum city join the nationwide noise barrage to prosecute GMA for the crimes she has committed agianst humanity last dec. 3, 2009. This was also the occasion to celebrate the 6th year of the international day of political prisoners.

   

Cotabato City

Photos courtesy of Kawagib Human Rights

   

 

MEDIA RELEASE
December 10, 2009
 

Patuloy na kinokondena ng Alyansa para sa Pagsusulong ng Karapatang Pantao ng mga Moro o KAWAGIB ang karumaldumal na Ampatuan Massacre na kumitil sa limampu't pitong buhay at nanawagang alisin na ang pagsasailalim sa probinsya ng Maguindanao sa Batas Militar kasabay sa paggunita ng buong mundo sa ika-animnapu't isang anibersaryo ng Pandaigdigang Araw sa Karapatang Pantao, ngayong araw.

Ayon kay Bai Ali Indayla, ang tagapagsalita na KAWAGIB, hindi kailangan ang Batas Militar upang papanagutin ang mga salarin sa Ampatuan Massacre. Aniya, ang Korte ay may kapangyarihang magpalabas ng warrant of arrest o search warrant upang dakpin at halughugin ang bahay ng sinumang utak at berdugo sa Ampatuan Massacre.

Dagdag pa ni Indayla, ang deklarasyon ng Martial Law ay pagtatakip lamang sa malaking ambag ng militar at kapulisan sa Ampatuan Massacre at paghuhugas-kamay ng rehimeng Arroyo sa pagbibigay-kapangyarihan sa mga utak nito.

Nangangamba ang KAWAGIB na ang pagdeklara ng Martial Law sa Maguindanao ay panimula lamang sa mas malaki pang plano ni Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo na palawakin ang saklaw nito sa buong Pilipinas at nang sa gayon ay makapanatili pa ito sa kapangyarihan.

Nananawagan ang grupo na huwag ilihis sa rebelyon ang tunay na isyu sa Maguindanao. Ani Indayla, sa pamamagitan ng pagsampa ng rebelyon, gagaan ang kasong kahaharapin ng mga utak at berdugo ng Ampatuan Massacre dahil madali itong i-abswelto anumang araw gustuhin ni Arroyo.

Nangangamba rin ang KAWAGIB sa tila pagkawala ng isinasaad sa Saligang Batas na civilian supremacy o kapangyarihan ng mamamayan dahil sa natatanggap nitong mga report sa paglabag ng karapatang pantao ng mga militar sa Maguindanao. Patuloy rin ang malawakang paglikas ng mga sibilyan sa Shariff Aguak, Datu Unsay at Mamasapano dahil sa takot sa mga sundalo.

Naniniwala ang KAWAGIB na ang Martial Law ay hindi sagot sa matagal ng umiiral na state-sponsored warlordism at karahasan sa Maguindanao lalo na't ang Ampatuan Massacre ay hindi isang kaso ng rebelyon bagkus isang kaso ng multiple murder na may karampatang kaparusahan ayon sa Saligang Batas.

Kasama ang Suara Bangsamoro at Liga ng Kabataang Moro, naglunsad ng isang piket-rali ang KAWAGIB ngayong araw, alas-9 ng umaga, sa Cotabato City Plaza bilang paggunita sa pinaka-karumaldumal na Araw ng Karapatang Pantao sa ilalim ng siyam na taong panunungkulan ni Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. #

Para sa reperensiya: Bai Ali Indayla, Contact No. 0921-9064-699

 

 
   
   

Media Release
December 11, 2009

KAWAGIB condemns kidnapping, urge gov’t to resolve the issue

Cotabato City- An alliance organization that advances Moro Human Rights here or KAWAGIB condemns the kidnapping of Orlando Pajardo, Vice President of Basilan State College around 7:30 last night in Bgry. Sumagdang, Isabela City, Basilan at his house in front of the school he is serving.

Kidnapping of Pajardo took place following the recovery of severed head of Mark Singson, 9:00 pm at City Plaza of Isabela, Basilan. Singson, one of the four employees of High Tech Woodcraft Corp. kidnapped on Nov. 10 in Maluso, Basilan.

“We are saddened that while we observe the 61st International Human Rights Day, human rights violations at its worst forms are still prevailing. It is somehow disappointing that the government failed to resolve these problems. President Arroyo declared State of Lawlessness in Basilan and State of Emergency in Sulu but kidnapping did not stop, instead innocent moro civilians were illegally arrested”, Bai Ali Indayla, Secretary General of the group said.

“We condemn the kidnapping but we also urge the government specially the Local Government officials to seriously and sincerely resolve the kidnapping incidents. We doubt that kidnapping is for fund-raising of the politicians for the coming 2010 election”, Indayla added.

School teachers and businessmen become targets of the recent kidnapping in Sulu and Basilan. Last November, Canizares, a school principal in Sulu was kidnapped and beheaded by his abductors; his severed head found in a gasoline station in Jolo..

“We also fear that President Arroyo will maximize the issue to expand martial Law declaration in Maguindanao and use it to stay in power beyond 2010. What we need is for Pres. Arroyo to have atleast political will to resolve the issue” Indayla said.#

For Reference: Bai Ali Indayla
(064)421-5680, 09219064699

 
   

Legazpi City, Albay

Photos courtesy of BAYAN-Bikol

   
     
     
     
     
     

Washington D.C., USA

Photos courtesy of BAYAN-USA

   
   

News Release
December 10, 2009
Reference: Atty. Arnedo Valera, Never Again to Martial Law, email: neveragaintomartiallaw@gmail.com

To sign the Never Again to Martial Law online petition, visit: http://www.gopetition.com/online/32771.html


US-WIDE MOVEMENT AGAINST MARTIAL LAW IN MAGUINDANAO LAUNCHED ON INT'L HUMAN RIGHTS DAY

Washington DC-- Human rights advocates from across the United States commemorated the 61st anniversary of International Human Rights Day by reviving the vibrant anti-martial law, anti-Marcos movement of 30 years ago. Today, the Never Again to Martial Law (NAML) coalition was launched at a press conference in Washington DC. The same evening, actions and forums in support of NAML took place in several cities, including New York City, Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

Amongst the 26 national convenors of NAML are former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, international human rights attorney Leonard Weinglass, Filipina-American torture survivor Melissa Roxas, and Father Benjamin Alforque of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON). For Clark and Weinglass, both active in the anti-Marcos movement in the 1970's, the convening of NAML is an extension of their longtime anti-martial law, pro-democracy advocacy for the Philippines alongside the late Philippine Senator Benigno Aquino.

Clark describes martial law as the “rule of tyranny.” According to Clark, “There is no freedom in Luzon if there is no freedom in Maguindanao. I fully support the Filipino people in their struggle for peace and democracy and I hope I see the day when the Filipino people are truly free.”

Clark joined the press conference over the phone, while DC-based convenors of NAML were on hand to present the unity statement of the coalition. The central demand for the US-wide coalition is the immediate lifting of the martial law in the Philippine province of Maguindanao as declared by Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo last December 4, 2009, more than two weeks after the shocking Maguindanao massacre that claimed at least 64 civilian lives, including 30 journalists.

Atty. Arnedo Valera, human rights lawyer and the current Legal Counsel of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns, argued that there is no constitutional basis for martial law in Maguindanao. "'Looming rebellion" is not a factual basis for the declaration of Martial Law. Multiple murders or mass murders are the crimes committed and not rebellion. And by continuously arming the Ampatuan clan, Pres. Arroyo and the military are co-conspirators or at least accomplices to these heinous crimes."

According to Dante Simbulan, the former Director of the Church Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines and a former political prisoner under Marcos,

“It is important and necessary to make people aware of the dangers and sufferings of the people under a martial law regime. Although I was a former military man myself, having graduated from the Philippine Military Academy, I was not spared from the horrors of a military regime. I have seen the scars and wounds of those who were tortured by the military and the police in the detention where I was kept and was saddened to know that the torturers were fellow PMA alumni. Martial Law turned these ‘officers and gentlemen’ into monsters."

Katrina Abarcar said, "According to Einstein, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. When Marcos declared martial law, it opened the door to abuse and tyranny. Why would we expect something different under Arroyo when, under so-called "civilian rule" we already see such a high level of impunity?"

 

After 8 years in office, Arroyo's disapproval rating rates high at over 52%. Scrutinized for its poor human rights record, the Arroyo administration has been able to stave off scores of lawsuits for graft, corruption, and gross human rights abuses due to its sovereign immunity. NAML warns that Arroyo's declaration of martial law in Maguindanao will not bring justice for the massacre victims, but instead provides a means for Arroyo to extend her stay in office past 2010, as well as a cover-up of her administration's culpability in the massacre through her close political ties with the known perpetrators, the Ampatuan family.

The convenors of NAML aim to build a broad solidarity movement in the United States against tyrannical rule in the Philippines through regional chapter-building of the coalition, membership recruitment, and activities. Membership to NAML is open to all individuals, organizations, and institutions. In addition to demanding the immediate lifting of martial law in Maguindanao, NAML is calling for clean elections throughout the Philippines in May 2010, a thorough and impartial, criminal investigation into the massacre, a cut in US military aid to the Philippines, the unseating and prosecution of Arroyo, and a rejection of repressive proposals that resemble martial law in the Philippine legislature.

To view and/or sign NAML's unity statement and it's 26 national convenors across the US, visit: http://www.gopetition.com/online/32771.html


To contact learn more about NAML, contact Atty. Arnedo Valera at neveragaintomartiallaw@gmail.com. ###

 
 
 
 
   

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 10, 2009
Reference: Valerie Francisco, Chairwoman, Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment, fire.nyc@gmail.com (925) 726-5768

FIL-AM WOMEN IN NYC DEMAND AN END TO MARTIAL LAW MINDANAO
Martial Law in Maguindanao will only Threaten Basic Human Rights for
Women and Children

New York, NY- December 10 is International Human Rights Day, a day to commemorate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which promotes universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. Historically, this document was written to establish peace worldwide after World War II, when millions had died due to global warfare and fascist regimes had taken away people's civil liberties and freedoms. On this day, which is meant to uphold basic human rights in the Philippines, Filipino American women in New York City implore the Philippine Congress to overturn President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s
Proclamation 1959 that has declared Martial Law in the province of Maguindanao.

On December 4, 2009, after 11 days of one of the most horrific massacres in Philippine history that took the lives of at least 64 people, 14 women including 2 women lawyers and 30 journalists, GMA has declared Martial Law in the province of Maguindanao. Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE) demands that Congress revoke Proclamation 1959, the declaration of martial law and call for all Filipina women and the global community to be vigilant on the hostile political climate in the Philippines. As citizens living and working in the U.S., we also demand that US President Barack Obama stop spending U.S. tax dollars on military aid to the Philippines as US military presence is only being used against our Philippine counterparts.

Recently, arms stockpiled in the hundreds were discovered in Ampatuan compounds that can easily be linked to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and serial numbers that can be traced to US military armaments. The relationship between GMA's martial law and choice to give the AFP control of Maguindanao and the Ampatuan clan's violence is crystal clear. It is a joke and an underhanded political move to give the very collaborative suspects of the Maguindanao Massacre, the AFP and the Ampatuan clan. To expect the AFP to deliver justice for the Ampatuan victims, when the AFP themselves are the prime suspects is a ridiculous claim.

This political move only shows GMA's greed and hunger to maintain power and protect her allies. Martial law in Maguindanao capitalizes on the horror of the massacre surrendering power to military forces and has deep implications for martial law in the whole country. Martial law only means more killings, arrests, abductions, human rights violations, and the militarization of communities for civilians.

With the increase of militarization, women and children are easily made victims and they are susceptible to rape and other wartime sex crimes. When women are arrested, they face the danger of being sexually molested or raped by the military. During times of militarization, women and children experience a sense of fear created by military control; loss of home, crops, animals for entire communities; displacement of indigenous people meaning loss of cultural identities and the destruction of their close relationship with the land; loss of education, when children cannot go to school; emotional and psychological effects of militarization; and increased poverty.

As a member organization of GABRIELA-USA, a grassroots Filipino women's alliance in the United States, we believe that the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao is a foreshadow of impending escalation of violence and human rights violations to be expected this election season, and should be a reminder for all, including the international community, to be vigilant and participate in ensuring clean and honest elections in the Philippines!

Filipinas in New York City urge all freedom-loving and pro-people citizens of the United States to join the Never Again to Martial Law Alliance to stand for basic human rights and dignity in the Philippines!

NEVER AGAIN TO MARTIAL LAW!
REVOKE PROCLAMATION 1959!
JUSTICE FOR MAGUINDANAO MASSACRE VICTIMS!
OBAMA, NO MORE U.S. TAX DOLLARS FOR PHILIPPINE MILITARY AID!
###
--
Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE) is a mass-based women's organization serving New York City and its surrounding areas. We connect the Filipino diaspora to the women's struggle in the Philippines. We are women of Philippine descent, including those who are migrants, immigrants and US-born. We recognize Filipino women of mixed heritage and adoptees. FiRE is a LGBTIQ-(Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer/Questioning) friendly organization that is inclusive of transgender people of Philippine descent. For more information, please visit http://www.firenyc.org.

We are a proud member organization of GABRIELA-USA, the first overseas chapter of GABRIELA Philippines, with babae in San Francisco, Pinay Sa Seattle in Seattle, WA, and SiGAw in Los Angeles, CA.

FiRE is a member of BAYAN-USA, an alliance of progressive Filipino groups in the U.S. representing organizations of students, scholars, women, workers, and youth. To learn more about BAYAN, please visit http://bayanusa.org/

--
Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE) is a mass-based women's organization serving New York City and its surrounding areas. We connect the Filipino diaspora to the women's struggle in the Philippines. We are women of Philippine descent, including those who are migrants, immigrants and US-born. We recognize Filipino women of mixed heritage and adoptees. FiRE is a LGBTQI friendly organization that is inclusive of transgender people of Philippine descent. For more information, please visit http://www.firenyc.org.

We are a proud member organization of GABRIELA-USA, the first overseas chapter of GABRIELA Philippines, with babae in San Francisco, Pinay Sa Seattle in Seattle, WA, and SiGAw in Los Angeles, CA.

FiRE is a member of BAYAN-USA, an alliance of progressive Filipino groups in the U.S. representing organizations of students, scholars, women, workers, and youth. To learn more about BAYAN, please visit http://bayanusa.org/

 
 
     

The Hague, Netherlands

Photos courtesy of Filipino Refugees in the Netherlands (FREN)

   

 

No celebration on Human Rights Day for Filipinos

 

International Human Rights Day is a sad day for us Filipinos.

 

We are mourning the more than 1,000 of our compatriots killed by the security agents of the Gloria Arroyo government. Hundreds have been forcibly disappeared, while thousands others have been illegally arrested. Hundreds of political prisoners remain imprisoned. Hundreds of thousands have been driven out of their homes, fleeing from the massive military operations of the Arroyo government.

 

On 23 November, Gloria Arroyo's warlord-friends in Maguindanao province,  southern Philippines, murdered 57 civilians, including 31 journalists and two human rights lawyers. The murderers included active duty security agents of the Arroyo government.

 

Arroyo and her armed minions commit these horrible violations of human rights, crimes against humanity, because they believe that they are above the law. Human rights are doomed under the Arroyo regime.

 

On 4 December, Arroyo declared martial law in Maguindanao, claiming to use military might to arrest the perpetrators. What is more likely is that she will use martial law to exonerate the real criminals and use it instead against the entire Filipino people who are calling for her ouster, and prosecution.

 

In 2007, Gloria Arroyo together with US President George Bush, were found guilty of human rights violations and committing war crimes against the Filipino people by the Permanent People's Tribunal that convened in The Hague.

 

We call on you, friends of the Filipino people, to join us in fighting this murderous and criminal regime of Gloria Arroyo. We can only stop the impunity if we oust this government. We call on all freedom-loving citizens to petition your governments to stop political and economic support for the criminals now ruling the Philippines.

 

Stop Political Killings in the Philippines! Justice for the victims of human rights violations! No to Martial Law! Stop support to the Arroyo government! Oust the criminal Gloria Arroyo regime!

 

Filipino Refugees in the Netherlands (FREN)

Migrante Europe

Antonio Zumel Center for Press Freedom Foundation-International Office

Rice and Rights Network (Kabalikat Holland, Linkap, Migrante Sectoral Party, Migrante-Netherlands, Nederlands-Filippijns Solidariteitsbeweging, Pinay sa Holland-Gabriela, Center for Philippine Concerns)

 

10 December 2009

Den Haag, The Netherlands

 

 
   
   

 

US-Arroyo regime surpasses Marcos dictatorship as worst violator of human rights PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 10 December 2009

By JORGE "Ka Oris" MADLOS
Spokesperson, NDFP - Mindanao
Other versions: Nahigitan na ng rehimeng US-Arroyo ang dikatadurang Marcos bilang pinakamasahol sa paglabag sa karapatang-tao (Pilipino)

On the occasion of the anniversary of International Human Rights Day, the revolutionary forces in Mindanao reiterate their continuing respect for human rights in the face of the US-Arroyo regime's utter disregard for human rights. The new democratic revolution being waged by the CPP-NPA-NDF is at the same time a national struggle in defense of the human rights of the vast majority of the Filipino people.

The National Democratic Front-Mindanao strongly condemns the US-Arroyo regime for its gross violation of human rights. In its nine years in power, it has surpassed even the US-Marcos regime's brutality in its more than two decades in power.

The US-Arroyo regime's record of human rights violations, especially in the implementation of Oplan Bantay Laya and its record of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture, harassment, mass evacuations and terrorism have become unprecedented and have turned out to be far worse than that of the Marcos dictatorship and all previous puppet reactionary regimes.

Its repeated attempts in the past to impose martial rule in the country and its exploitation of the widespread indignation at the Ampatuan Massacre to declare martial law in Maguindanao as a trial balloon for wider application reveal the US-Arroyo regime's propensity for tyrannical rule and its obsession with outdoing Marcos.

The massive use of the military, police, CAFGU, SCAA and CVO as private armies of Arroyo's warlord allies was purposely promoted under her administration. Mrs. Arroyo's political allies use the military and police to silence local opposition and lend their hand in the fight against the revolutionary forces the same way the regime uses these forces to commit extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and other human rights violations to silence its critics and remain in power. These forces have become mercenaries of Arroyo, her political allies and big foreign and comprador capitalists to coerce people into submission in the face of massive and shameless graft and corruption, abuse of power and greed for profit.

The US-Arroyo regime's OBL 1 and 2 and continuing massive military operations in the cities and countryside have spawned gross human rights violations throughout the country. Since the onset of the US-Arroyo regime in 2001, there have been 1,118 victims of extrajudicial killings and 204 victims of enforced disappearances. Such is her rule of impunity that even media people are not spared. There have already been 97 killings of media people under her regime including the 30 killed in the Ampatuan Massacre on November 23. The total so far of 57 victims of the massacre add to the already large number of those killed by government military, paramilitary, police and security forces and by warlord private armies. That such a vicious crime was clearly committed to ensure "victory" in the coming 2010 elections more grotesquely dramatizes the violence and cheating that Arroyo and her military and warlord minions have been doing in the past elections.

The US-Arroyo regime has poured the largest number of her military forces in Mindanao, with more than 11 infantry battalions and several tens of thousands of foot soldiers operating in the island. Not satisfied, it recruits, trains and arms several tens of thousands more of paramilitary forces such as CAFGUs, SCAAs and CVOs, adding to already large numbers of private security forces of warlords and big commercial logging and mining companies. These paramilitary forces are at the beck and call of political allies and big mining and logging companies, and are practically converted into their private armies to protect their interests, even as they are paid for by the ordinary taxpayers. Arroyo's Armed Forces of the Philippines creates, supports and arms Lumad paramilitary groups like the Bungkatol Liberation Front (BULIF), Wild Dogs and Task Force Gantangan-Bagani Force (TFG-BF) and tugs them along in military operations especially in Lumad communities to sow terror and induce conflict among the Lumad people.

These operations have resulted in more than 60 reported cases of extrajudicial killings in Mindanao in 2009 alone, victimizing mostly peasant and Lumad leaders of protests against big commercial mining and logging operations and against land conversions of large lardlord holdings to avoid coverage by agrarian reform.

In the Caraga Region there have been 11 recent cases of extrajudicial killings, including one where a two-month old infant was also killed, two cases of frustrated killings, a case of abduction with torture, and two more cases of torture. In Northern Mindanao, from 2004 to date, there have been 37 cases of extrajudicial killings, the most recent done by the paramilitary Bungkatol Liberation Front (BULIF) and 23rd IB against three Lumad datus in September 28, 2009 in Agusan del Sur. In Southern Mindanao Region, from January to November 26, 2009, there had been 10 cases of extrajudicial killings, bringing up the total to 115 victims since 2001. Who cannot forget the rape and murder of Ka Parago's daughter Rebelyn Pitao last March in Carmen, Davao Norte, and the killing of the child Grecil Galacio on March 31, 2009 in New Bataan, Compostela Valley? In the SOCKSARGENDS area, there have been 25 victims of extrajudicial killings and 25 victims of enforced disappearance since 2002. In Muslim areas, there have been 16 cases of extrajudicial killings, 43 cases of frustrated killings and two cases of enforced disappearances in this year alone, not counting the 57 Maguindanao massacre victims.

Thousands have been forced to evacuate from their communities because of aerial bombings and military operations in an effort to cleanse the area of protests against the entry of big commercial mining and logging operations, as part of the government's counter-insurgency program. In the Caraga region, more than 900 families were dislocated from their communities in 2009 alone. As schools and residences of families continue to be used as military barracks, the children are prevented from attending schools and their human rights violated. In the Southern Mindanao Region, there have been 22 recent cases of forced evacuations, displacing 930 families (5,129 individuals). In the Northern Mindanao Region, forced evacuations have affected 5,193 families (29,657 individuals) in 2008, mostly in Lanao. In February to May 2009, there have been four instances of aerial bombardment resulting in the forced evacuation of 4,553 individuals. In the SOCSARGENDS area, there have been 307 cases of human rights violations involving 34,624 individuals and 3,704 families since 2006. There have been many more cases of human rights violations in Muslim areas, including the forced evacuation of hundreds of thousands.

The active role of the US armed forces in committing these human rights violations cannot be discounted. Various reports have cited the presence and direct participation of US troops in combat operations across the island, especially in Zamboanga City; Tawi-tawi; Jolo, Sulu; Lamitan, Basilan; and Maguindanao. Human rights violations committed against the Filipino people by the mercenary AFP, PNP and paramilitary forces mirror that of the human rights violations committed by US soldiers in Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantanamo Bay and other parts of the world where they operate.

But the increasingly fascist methods of the US-Arroyo regime have not cowed the people into silence. Instead of becoming afraid, people are even bolder in raising their outrage against the record gross human rights violations of the ruling regime, decrying the culture of impunity it has been sowing and resisting its intensifying fascist rule. More and more are taking to the streets to decry the rotten, plunderous and brutal US-Arroyo regime and call for the ouster of an utterly corrupt, liar and tyrannical president. More and more people are joining the ranks of the revolutionary forces and the New People's Army, taking up arms and waging people's war against an unjust and cruel state and system currently presided over by the US-Arroyo regime.

Uphold human rights!

Make the US-Arroyo Regime pay for its crimes against humanity!

Oust Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo!

 
 
 
   

 

Mrs. Gloria Arroyo treads the path of dictator Marcos PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 08 December 2009

By LUIS G. JALANDONI
Member, NDFP National Executive Committee

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) vigorously condemns Mrs. Gloria Arroyo's declaration of martial law in Maguindanao. It is reminiscent of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus a year before declaring Martial Law in 1972.

Prominent law professors have denounced her declaration as a contemptuous violation of the 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines which requires an invasion or rebellion for such declaration. Moreover, the Supreme Court has exposed as false her claim that the judicial system in Maguindanao is not functioning.

She relies on her loyal followers in the House of Representatives to outvote the opposition in the Senate. Both houses of Congress have to approve by simple majority her declaration.

This testing of the waters by Ms. Gloria Arroyo in preparation for possible declaration of martial law in other areas or all over the country is one scheme she has for clinging to power. It is ominous that Major Gen. Gaudencio Pangilinan, AFP vice-chief of staff for operations, has just recommended that the martial law proclamation be extended to the May 2010 elections.

Mrs. Arroyo has also filed her candidacy for a congressional seat in her home province of Pampanga. This would pave the way for her to be elected Prime Minister once a Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass) would be convened to amend the Constitution.

The US and other foreign powers are pushing for amending the Constitution to allow 100% ownership of land by foreigners and other amendments advantageous to their interests. Mrs. Arroyo can therefore bank on their support for her Con-Ass move. As Prime Minister she would enjoy immunity from prosecution for her many crimes against the people.

Another scheme of Mrs. Arroyo is No-El or failure of elections together with the declaration of a “Transition Government” under her leadership. Widespread violence, instigated by her warlord cronies, like the Ampatuans of Maguindanao, may be used as the excuse for “Failure of Elections”. The scheme of “Transition Government” under Mrs. Arroyo has been pushed and publicized by her National Security Adviser, Norberto Gonzales, who is concurrently Secretary of Defense.

Mrs. Arroyo has also prepared for the coming elections by making sure that her favorite general, Delfin Bangit, formerly Presidential Security Guard (PSG) chief and head of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, will be the Chief of Staff of the AFP at the time of the elections in May 2010. Other favored generals are placed in strategically important positions.

Even the Maguindanao massacre may be considered suspect as a plot by Mrs. Arroyo and her crony warlord, Andal Ampatuan Sr., to lay the ground for the declaration of martial law. Up to now, Malacanang has not given any explanation why Andal Ampatuan, Sr., the governor of Maguindanao and his son, Zaldy, governor of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) were in Malacanang just prior to and during the Massacre in Maguindanao, for allegedy “an emergency meeting”. It is widely known that Andal Ampatuan Sr. used.force and fraud in Maguindanao to provide Mrs. Arroyo a wide margin of more than 130,000 votes in the 2004 elections. In the entire ARMM, Arroyo won by a margin close to 300,000.

In the 2007 elections, Andal Ampatuan, Sr. ensured a 12-0 sweep for the Administration senatorial candidates. On the contrary, 19 opposition candidates, including the 12 in the “Genuine Opposition” did not get a single vote in 20 out of 22 municipalities in Maguindanao. Soon after her “victory” in the 2004 elections, Mrs. Arroyo threw a big party in Malacanang for Andal Ampatuan, Sr.

It is no wonder that officers of the Philippine National Police (PNP) have been identified as among the leaders of the massacre. Units of the PNP and AFP have been part of the private army of the Ampatuan clan, and many of its weapons were provided by the AFP and PNP.

Mrs. Arroyo and her regime must be condemned and held accountable for the impunity she gives to Ampatuan and her other favored warlords to whom she is deeply indebted for giving her hundreds of thousands of fraudulent votes. She must also be held accountable for the massacre in Maguindanao and many other gross violations of human rights because of her schemes to prolong herself in power

 
 
     
     
     
     

Belgium

Photos courtesy of http://www.indymedia.be/en/node/35841

   

Fakkeltocht voor verdwenen en vermoorde activisten in Filipijnen

BRUSSEL -- Honderden mensen liepen in het centrum van Brussel mee in een fakkeltocht om te protesteren tegen de schendingen van de mensenrechten in de Filipijnen, Colombia en Guatemala. De deelnemers aan de fakkeltocht droegen maskers. "Door middel van maskers geven we een gezicht aan de campagne Stop the Killings en al de slachtoffers van gedwongen verdwijningen in de Filipijnen, 202 sinds 2001", aldus het platform Stop the Killings dat de fakkeltocht organiseerde. [ christophe callewaert ]

 

From:

http://www.indymedia.be/en/node/35841

 

     
     
     
     
   
     
     

Bologna, Italy

Statement courtesy of Migrante Sectoral Party

   

 

PRESS RELEASE

08 December 2009

 

For reference:

Adelle Ignacio, Councilor of Foreigners, Province of Bologna, Italy

Tel No. +393203450951

 

In Bologna, candles were lit to end impunity,

demand justice for Maguindanao victims

 

BOLOGNA - Around 200 people joined today's “Fiaccolata” or candlelighting activity calling for justice for the victims of the Maguindanao massacre, an end to the killings of journalists and activists in the Philippines, and genuine and long lasting peace in Mindanao.

 

The Fiaccolata that started at 6.30 pm and lasted for an hour was a beautiful sight to behold, not only because of how the lit candles illuminated the old Piazza del Nettuno where it was held, but also for the show of solidarity among people of various nationalities residing in Bologna. The Filipinos and Italians were joined by people from Morocco, Romania, Bosnia, Bangladesh, Chile, and Germany.

 

It was the first time that the Filipino community in Bologna led and organized a public mass action. Although held a day earlier, it was also intended to be part of the International Day Against Impunity on December 9.

 

Among the speakers at the peaceful and solemn rally were University Professors Gianni Sofri and Giulio Soravia; Gerardo Bombonato, president of the Association of Journalists in the Italian Region of Emilia-Romagna; Leonardo Barcelo and Bouchaib Kaline, both officials of the city and province of Bologna, respectively. The Filipino community was represented by Adelle Ignacio, Councilor of the Province of Bologna and one of the lead organizers; Jose Avenido, president of the Federation of Filipino Associations of Bologna (FedFab) and Edwin Biglas of Migrante Sectoral Party.

 

 

The program started with a child singing “One Little Candle” while the candles were being lit. After the song, the names of the thrity Filipino journalists who died in the massacre were read. Ignacio read the statement of the organizers saying that the activity was symbolic. “We should not remain silent in the face of such atrocities... In one of the darkest period of our history, we light the candles as a condemnation of the violence and our desire for justice and long-lasting peace,” she said.Sofri, an Italian professor of history explained the context surrounding the massacre for the benefit of the non-Filipino community in the crowd. He also observed how come the incident only gathered little attention in the European media and this is one way of increasing the European's awareness of such issues.

 

Bombonato, representing the journalists in the region said he usually does not go to such rallies, especially to participate because his job is to cover these events. However, what happened in the Philippines was deeply moving and he decided to join. He said journalists are also under attack in Italy for exposing the truth, mainly scandals involving the Mafia and read a poem about why people should stand up against the violation of our basic freedoms.. Excerpts from statements of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, translated in Italian was also read.

 

Kaline, a Moroccan immigrant said that it is important as a member of the larger community of nations, to express their solidarity to the people facing such atrocities and condemn the perpetrators. Barcelo, originally from Chile who sought asylum in Italy after the Pinochet coup on the one hand, shared his country's experience under fascist rule and the need to fight tyranny together.

 

During the program, many Italians who were just passing by the Fiaccolata, most of whom were doing their early Christmas shopping, stopped and listened. The activity appear to have also served the purpose of easing anti-immigrant sentiments in the community which had been on the rise due to the increasing unemployment in the country.

 

The Fiaccolata also enjoyed the broad support of political, religious and regional organizations in Bologna. Among them were the Forum Immigrazione of the Partido Democratico (PD); CGIL, an institution for worker's rights; Migrante Sectoral Party; the Council of Foreigners in the Province of Bologna; El Shaddai; El Elohim; FedFab; Lafa, an organization of Laguna residents; Lampada Milan; Kakampi; Guardians; Christian Joint Fellowship; Liwanag; Flussi; and San Pedronians. ###

     
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Bonus Tracks

Protesting Palparan's visit in Bacolod

   

 

Press release
12.13.09
1:30pm


Bayan Negros protested Gen. Palparan at ex-Mayors house in Bacolod

About 30 protestors belonging to the militant Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) Negros surprised and cornered retired and now Bantay Party list Cong. Jovito Palparan with protest while having a press conference at the house of former Bacolod City Mayor Oscar “Oca” Verdeflor at 10:00 o’clock today. The militants chant demanding Palparan to pay for his human rights violations and to bring him in jail instead of voting him as Senator.

While having a protest, an activist die in infront of the gate with red paints spread all over his body to illustrate extra judicial killings and the worsening human rights situation in the country done by Palparan under Oplan Bantay Laya 2.

“Palparan must be greeted with protest to manifest that butchers and human rights violators like him is not welcome in the island. Butchers must be put in jail and must not be permited to sit in Congress or in Senate,” said Junhil Enriquez Chairman of Bayan Negros.

The militant group picketed with placards denouncing his human rights violations. Gen. Jovito Palparan was lambasted by militant and cause oriented groups because of the killing of activists on the basis of their alleged leftist principles. This general has with all impunity labeled the victims of extra-judicial killings as members of legal organizations that are allegedly communist fronts. Extra judicial killings of the members of militant had increased when he was assigned in Mindoro, Samar, Leyte and Central Luzon.

“We will not let him visit Negros without protest because he is not respecting human rights even international humanitarian law. He is not a human but a killer animal,” said Enriquez.

The militant groups stays until Palparan get out of the house at 11:00 O’clock in the morning aboard a gray van. While going out of Verdeflor’s house, militant protestors put their placards at the windows of his car while chanting “Berdugo, berdugo, berdugo!” (Butcher, butcher, butcher!). ###

 

 

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Bayan Negros staged a protest at the gate of Bacolod ex-Mayor Oscar Verdeflor while Bantay Party list Gen. Jovito "Berdugo" Palparan was holding a press conference/ .They displayed their placards and chanted "Berdugo, berdugo, berdugo!" near Palparan's car when he left the venue (December 14, 2009).

 

Photos courtesy of Bayan Negros

 
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