The killing of Carlo "Caloy" Rodriguez,

president of the Nagkakaisang Lakas ng Manggagawa ng Calamba Water District.

the 7th victim of extrajudicial killings in Southern Tagalog,

the 22nd in the country,  in the time of PNoy

 

Calamba City

 

November 12, 2010

 

 

   

■   Tribute:   Caloy Rodriguez, makabayang unyonista sa pampublikong sektor by Prof. Judy Taguiwalo

 

■   Poem:  Buwis by Pia Montalban

 

■   Essay: The Tools of Death Squad Democrary by Prof. Roland Simbulan

 

STATEMENTS:

 

■   KMU condemns the killing of Caloy Rodriguez, public union leader

 

■   Two Southern Tagalog activists killed in less than a week

 

■   New Zealanders ask:What happened to Aquino's vow of justice, closure for victims of killings?

 

■   Statement of PAMANTIK-KMU

 

■   Statement of Water System Employees Response (WATER)

 

■   Urgent Action Alert by KARAPATAN

 

■   Video of indignation rally

 

 


 

 

 

 

This is Caloy Rodriguez, the latest victim of extrajudicial killings in the country. Caloy, "president of the Nagkakaisang Lakas ng Manggagawa ng Calamba Water District or NLM-CWD, was shot dead yesterday, November 12, at 5:30 in the afternoon by motorcycle-riding gunmen in Calamba, Laguna. NLM-CWD is an affiliate of the Confederatio...n for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees or Courage –Courage has been indefatigable in fighting corruption in government and militant in advancing its members’ rights and interests, thereby earning the wrath of successive regimes." The killings of activists under the new administration have not stopped as Oplan Bantay Laya remains under a different guise. Thank you Doug Booker for sharing the picture.

 

--- From the blog of UP Faculty Regent Dr. Judy Taguiwalo

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Government Union Leader Killed

 

By RONALYN OLEA
Carlo “Caloy” Rodriguez, 41, president of the Nagkakaisang Lakas ng Manggawa ng Calamba Water District, became the 22nd victim of extrajudicial killings under the Aquino administration when he was gunned down by two motorcycle riding men last November 12.

 

 

 
   
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STATEMENT OF CONDEMNATION AND

CALL FOR A NATIONWIDE SOLIDARITY ACTION AGAINST THE KILLING OF CARLO “CALOY” RODRIGUEZ, PRESIDENT OF NLM-CWD-WATER/COURAGE

 

In behalf of our affiliate unions, associations, federations and regional chapters and formations, COURAGE is strongly condemning the brutal killing of our union leader, Carlo Rodriguez, President of Nagkakaisang Lakas Manggagawa ng Calamba Water District, an affiliate of Water System Employees Response (WATER) and an officer of COURAGE Southern Tagalog.

 

Caloy on Friday, November 12, was onboard his motorcycle and was to come home from their office after a meeting with fellow union leaders when he was shot dead by unidentified assailant riding tandem on a motorcycle at an intersection in Calamba City, Laguna. Four gunshots were fired at Caloy, two at the back, one on the arms and another at the neck. The killers were definitely ensuring he was already dead before they fled.

 

Caloy, only 41 years old, was a militant, progressive and nationalist union leader and a genuine public servant. He spearheaded the Collective Negotiations Agreement of the NLM which seeks to improve the economic and working conditions of the workers and the full exercise of their union rights in the water district. He was a coordinator for the campaigns of WATER and COURAGE in Southern Tagalog for a substantial wage increase, against privatization and in defense of jobs and public services. Together with other union leaders in the province, Caloy is a regular mobilizer of government employees’ contingent for the Lakbayan (Protest Caravan) of the peasants for genuine land reform.      

The murder of Caloy is concrete proof that the Aquino Administration, the AFP and its paramilitary machinery is still implementing Oplan Bantay Laya II of the Arroyo Administration and the new US Counter Insurgency Program. These programs target even the leaders and supporters of the legal and progressive mass organizations, like COURAGE and WATER who are known for their critical stand and action against various policies that propagate the oppression and injustice against the Filipino people. He is the 22nd victim of the Extra Judicial Killings under the Aquino Administration and the 6th government employee-union leader killed for their uncompromising commitment.

 

Aquino’s inaction and complacency that has until now denied justice to the more than 800 victims of summary executions, tortures and enforced disappearances under the US-Arroyo Regime is testament of the Aquino Administration’s hypocrisy, the change it is parroting is nothing but a complete sham. It is no better but the same as its predecessor - rotten, ruthless and butcher of civil servants.      

 

We call on all government employees, trade unions, human rights advocates and other patriotic and concerned citizen to join us on November 18, 2010, on the same day that Caloy will be laid to rest, simultaneously at 12:00 noon nationwide, for a National Condemnation and Solidarity Action.

 

They may have been able to treacherously put an end to the life of Caloy but definitely not to his beliefs and struggles. For as long as the ruling system that perpetuate this culture of impunity remains, there are and there will be thousands of Caloy in the ranks of the government employees who will continue to resist tyranny and fight for genuine freedom and change.  #

 

JUSTICE FOR CARLO RODRIGUEZ! JUSTICE FOR ALL VICTIMS OF EXTRA JUDICIAL KILLINGS!

STOP THE KILLINGS! MAKE THE US-AQUINO REGIME ACCOUNTABLE!

 

Sulong sa ika-25 taon ng Militante, Progresibo at Makabayang Unyonismo sa Sektor Publiko

118 Sct. Rallos St., Brgy. Sacred Heart, Quezon City

________________________________________________________________________________

Water System Employees’ Response

S.E.C. Registration No. CN 200701080 Company TIN 006-608-885

 

STATEMENT OF CONDEMNATION AGAINST THE KILLING OF FELLOW WATER WARRIOR CARLO “CALOY” RODRIGUEZ

 

With deepest rage, we are condemning the atrocious killing of our fellow unionist and water warrior, Carlo “Caloy” Rodriguez, President of Nagkakaisang Lakas ng Manggagawa ng Calamba Water District,  an affiliate of WATER.

 

Caloy was a real union leader and a good public servant. He was one of the pioneers of WATER when it was still struggling to expand its membership and campaigning for recognition as a national federation of water districts and utilities’ employees unions. Together with the leaders of WATER, he stood pat for genuine unionism against the yellow unionism being promoted by a pseudo leader claiming to represent water district employees. 

 

He was a staunch critic of privatization including bulk water supply projects and Private and Public Projects which put at risk not only the jobs and job security of the water district workers but also the basic social services needed by our marginalized countrymen. As a Customer Service Assistant in the City’s Water District, he served with utmost integrity. As a union leader, he transformed the NLM-CWD into a militant, progressive and nationalist union and propelled it to its 1st and 2nd Collective Negotiations Agreement, fought for better pay, improved working conditions and full union recognition. He created a union-education program meant to consolidate and strengthen the NLM-CWD.

 

The manner and pattern by which he was killed is telltale sign that nothing has really change despite the promise made by the new Aquino administration. The culture of impunity still persists because nothing is being done to prosecute those responsible for the more than 800 victims of political killings of its predecessor. Worst, there have been 22 politically-motivated deaths (including Caloy) under the Aquino administration that has vowed to lead the country towards the “correct path”.  

 

Caloy’s death shall not be in vain for we vow to continue his struggles for the workers, against privatization and for a truly free and humane society.  

 

National Secretariat Office: 118 Sct. Rallos Street, Quezon City, Philippines

Tel Nos:(632)9295342; Email:waterphils@yahoo.com

 

 
 
   
     

 

12 November 2010
Press Statement

KMU condemns the killing of Caloy Rodriguez, public union leader

We strongly condemn the killing of Caloy Rodriguez, president of the Nagkakaisang Lakas ng Manggagawa ng Calamba Water District or NLM-CWD, today at 5:30 in the afternoon by motorcycle-riding gunmen in Calamba, Laguna. NLM-CWD is an affiliate of the Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees or Courage – which is a fellow member of the KMU in the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan or Bayan. Courage has been indefatigable in fighting corruption in government and militant in advancing its members’ rights and interests, thereby earning the wrath of successive regimes.

We point our fingers at the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the regime of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III as the culprits behind this yet another case of extra-judicial killing in the country. The shooting and death of Caloy Rodriguez is yet another consequence of Pres. Aquino’s decision to continue implementing the murderous Oplan Bantay Laya counter-insurgency program of his predecessor and to adhere to the US Counter-insurgency Guide. It is also a consequence of the utter failure of the Aquino regime to prosecute Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her butchers, such as former General Jovito Palparan, for the grave human-rights violations that they have committed while in power. Pres. Aquino says that carrying out extra-judicial killings is not his government’s policy, but his military’s actions speak louder than his words; his military’s gunshots speak louder than his all-too soft denial.

During the Arroyo regime, we sought help from the Commission on Human Rights under Leila de Lima in condemning and investigating cases of extra-judicial killings. The current CHR chief, Akbayan’s Etta Rosales, was appointed to her post on the basis of her supposed record in defending human rights. Her refusal to fully engage with cases of human-rights violations involving activists, however, has only emboldened the military to continue carrying out the extra-judicial killings of activists under a regime that has promised “change” to the Filipino workers and people. Her statements about focusing on “lesser-known” cases of human rights violations – as compared with, for example, the case of the Morong 43 – does not at all help in the struggle to uphold human rights in the country.

Reference: Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson, 0908-1636597
 

All  photos from: Ramir Endriga Corcolon's Photos

 FELLOW PUBLIC SERVANTS FROM CUPE CANADA. WELCOME FRIENDS AND FELLOW PUBLIC SERVANTS FROM CANADIAN UNION OF PUBLIC EMPLOYEES(CUPE) THANK YOU FOR BEING WITH US.

           
     
     
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Two Southern Tagalog activists killed in less than a week

Posted by stexposure on November 12, 2010 · Leave a Comment
November 12, 2010 | Laguna

Another activist was killed today in Calamba City.

Carlo “Caloy” Rodriguez, president of the Nagkakaisang Lakas ng Manggawa ng Calamba Water District, was gunned down by motorcycle riding men while he was on his way home from work at about 5:30pm today. He suffered 4 gunshot wounds – one to his neck, two to his back and one to his arm.

Caloy, 41 years old, worked as a meter reader for the Calamba Water District. He was a long time union leader and a member of the militant public sector oragnization COURAGE (Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees).

Caloy is the second activist killed in the Southern Tagalog region in the span of five days.

Last November 7, Ireneo Rodriguez, a farmer and member of the Samahan ng mga Magbubukid sa Batangas (SAMBAT) was shot dead in Balayan Town in Batangas by two masked men who were also riding a motorcycle.

Ireneo was active in the fight for genuine agrarian reform and has joined several protests including last months “lakbayan ng mga magsasaka” (peasants’ march).

Meanwhile, human rights group KARAPATAN – Southern Tagalog (ST) expressed its concern on how the number of activist killings continue to go up unabated.

According to KARAPATAN-ST deputy secretary general Glen Malabanan, Caloy is the 7th victim of extrajudicial killings in the region under the new administration, and the 22nd across the nation.

“We have no doubt that these killings are still part of the counter-insurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL) which the Aquino government continue to implement. OBL has been targeting political activists ever since the Arroyo regime decided came up with it as a tool against everyone it consider as “leftist.”

“Now the new president is wandering the same bloody path of his predecessor. Unless his government scraps OBL, we fear the killings and human rights violations will conitnue,” Malabanan said.

KARAPATAN has documented 1,206 victims of extrajudicial killings during the Arroyo regime. # by Southern Tagalog Exposure

 

 

     
           

 

Buwis
by Pia Montalban

on Saturday, November 13, 2010 at 12:08pm

Araw-araw may mga hindi kilalang
                                                kasama
Ang nagbubuwis, hindi ng salaping
                                               papel-de-ahensya
Kundi
ng mismong mga
buhay
nila.

Isa itong kwentong, inaamag na ng panahon,
Parang parchment na mahipa'y aabuhin ang kahapon
sa tagal ng panahon, sa tagal ng panahon...
na ito'y kinasanayan na natin sa takbo ng maghapon.

Parang paglalaga ng buto-butong, binistay
na ng 'sang buwan, inaamoy ng langaw ang katay,
ngunit, napakikinabangan pa ng anakpawis
                                                         ang ini-init na sabaw.

Parang telepantastikong panuorin
sa primetime television, kakayurin
pa ba ang diwa sa itatakbo ng kwento?
magiiba-iba ang pangalan, bihis, pamagat---
ngunit ang plot ay di magbabago:
may agwat ang mahirap at mayaman;
ang liwanag ay dumadaig sa kadiliman;
nananaig ang kabutihan laban sa kasamaan;
may super-herong gagapi sa super-villain;
may magiibigan na langit-lupa ang agwat;

at tatapusin ang salaysay---
kapag may namatay.

Gaya ng, akala nilang
tatapusin ng pagkamatay
nina Baldomero, Quirante, Rodriguez
at iba pang nauna ng hablutin ng kaaway,
ang kwento ng
kasaysayan
ng mamamayang
sama-samang
nakibaka't nakikibaka,
para sa tunay na reporma sa lupa,
ndustriyalisasyon, pambansang demokrasya,
at ganap na
                kalayaan...

Matagal na silang tinuturuan ng kasaysayan,
ngunit

Araw-araw pa rin ay may mga hindi kilalang
                                                              kasama
Ang nagbubuwis, hindi ng salaping
                                               papel-de-ahensya
Kundi
ng
mismong
mga
buhay
nila.

Ngunit ang ihip sa alab
ng apoy na naglalagablab
ay hindi magpapahina sa aming sidhi
bagkus ay gatong sa aming patuloy na pagsisilbi--

Ang kamatayan ng bawat isa,
ay abono't pataba
upang yumabong ang sampu pa.

 

 
 
           

 

Union president shot to death in Calamba City, Laguna, Philippines

UA No: 2010-11-03


UA Date : 23 November 2010

 

UA Case : Assassination

 

Victim/s : Carlo “Caloy” Rodriguez

          • 41 years old, male, government employee, married with 4 children

          • A resident of Brgy. Sirang Lupa Calamba City, Laguna

          • President, Nagkakaisang Lakas ng Manggagawa ng Water District Calamba ( NLM-WDC) or (United Workers' Force of the Calamba Water District), an affiliate organization of the Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE), a progressive public sector union in the Philippines

Place of Incident : across the Coca Cola Plant, Brgy. Halang Calamba City,

 

Date of Incident : 12 November 2010, at around 5:30 PM

 

Alleged Perpetrator(s): Four men riding in tandem on two motorcycles believed to be military intelligence agents


Account of the Incident:


At around 5:15 PM, Carlo “Caloy” Rodriguez, president of NLM-WDC together with his vice president Alex Espiel, left the office of Calamba Water District on board their respective motorcycles. They parted ways at the corner outside of the Calamba Water District. Caloy was traveling towards Calamba crossing.

 

When he reached the Coca Cola Plant in Brgy. Halang, two motorcycles with two riders each cornered him by driving on both sides of Caloy’s motorcycle. Then the back-rider of the motorcycle to his left pulled a .45 caliber pistol and shot him, hitting him in the neck. Caloy's motorcycle keeled over and when he fell to the ground, the gunman shot him again, this time, hitting him in the arm and back. Caloy died instantly. The perpetrators fled from the scene.

 

NLM-WDC, under Caloy's leadership, fought against the privatization of Calamba Water District. He also campaigned for the recognition of COURAGE as a partylist in the last elections.

 

 

   

 

Caloy Rodriguez, makabayang unyonista sa pampublikong sektor

by Judy Taguiwalo

on Saturday, November 13, 2010 at 1:05pm

 

Si Caloy Rodriguez ay binaril ng mga nakamaskarang kalalakihang nakasakay sa motorsiklo kahapon , Nob. 12, 5:30 ng hapon sa Calamba, Laguna habang pauwi mula sa trabaho. Si Caloy,  ang  ika-22 biktima ng pamamaslang sa panahon ng rehimeng Aquino, ay kaibigan ko  pala sa Facebook! Hindi ko matandaan kung personal kaming nagkabatian sa mga pagkilos ng bayan o kaya sa kumperensya ng mga public sector unions.

 

Ngayon ay binuksan ko muli ang kanyang FB account. Napakapayak ng impormasyong ibinahagi niya sa FB: Male, mahilig sa musika ni Eric Clapton, ni Noel Cabangon at ng JOVINATICS. Walang nakalagay na birthday o saan nagtapos sa pag-aaral o kung sino ang employer.

 

Pero may mga 150 sa  listahan ng kanyang mga sinalihan o nagustuhang mga FB groups. Kabilang dito  ang “Free or Low Cost College Level Mass Education”, “Free Dr. Alex Montes and the other 42 health workers”, Liza Maza for Senator”, “Disband the Philippine Military, the AFP, the PNP and the PMA”, “Call Facebook to delete all hate groups against Islam and prophet Mohamed”, “Dismantle Political Dynasties”, at “Turn Facebook Pink for 1 Week for Breast Cancer Awareness”. 

 

Kasali si Caloy sa Farmville at kabilang sa mga sumuporta sa kahilingang “Help make stables for goats in Farmville” at “Add a church to Farmville.”

 

 Pangulo si Caloy ng unyong  Nagkakaisang Lakas ng Manggagawa ng Calamba Water District. Ayon sa Southern Tagalog Exposure, isang meter reader si Caloy sa Calamba Water District, at kung gayon ay may malinaw na material na  batayan para maging masugid sa pagsusulong sa kagalingan at karapatan ng kapwa rank-and-file na empleyado sa kanyang opisina.   Coordinator siya ng COURAGE, ang pederasyon ng mga militante, progresibo at makabayang mga unyon ng pamahalaan , sa Southern Tagalog.

 

Sa 24 na photo albums ni Caloy sa Facebook ang mga patotoo sa kanyang paninindigan bilang tagapagtaguyod ng militante, progresibo at makabayang unyonismo at ang kanyang paglilingkod sa sambayanan.

 

Naroon ang kanyang mga kuha sa People’SONA noong Hulyo 26, 2010. Dalawang album ang kaugnay nito. Ang isa ay may titulong “NLM-CWD Participated in the People’s SONA”, mga kuha ng mga unyonista ng Calamba water district sa Commonwealth Avenue at  mga retrato ng mga artista ng bayan na gumagawa ng mural sa kalsada na pinangalanan ni Caloy na “Street Art During People’s SONA”. May mga album kaugnay ng pirmahan ng ikatlong Collective Negotiation Agreement (CNA) ng unyon at ng management ng Calamba Water District noong Agosto 2, 2010. Ang pinakaunang album ni Caloy ay ang panunumpa ng mga opisyal ng unyon noong Pebrero 2010 na dinaluhan ng Tagapangulo ng COURAGE, si Ferdie Gaite. Maraming mga album ng mga pag-aaral at seminar ng mga public sector employees sa Laguna kaugnay ng unyonismo sa pampublikong sektor. May mga album din ng mga outing ng unyon sa Bicol. Ang pinakahuling album ay may petsang Agosto 11, 2010 sa oryentasyon ng mga bagong kasapi ng Nagkakaisang Lakas ng Manggagawa ng Calamba Water District.

 

Ayon sa ulat ng STEX, apat na beses binaril si Caloy: dalawa sa likod, isa sa leeg at isa sa bisig! Hindi natin maubos isipin kung bakit ganito karahas ang sasapitin ng isang mabuting unyonista, manggagawa ng pamahalaan, water meter reader na 41 taong gulang lamang. Maliban na lamang kung maiugnay ang pamamaslang kay Caloy sa patuloy na pagturing ng pamahalaan na “enemies of the state” ang mga unyonista’t aktibista na may  makabayang paninindigan. Buhay na buhay ang Oplan Bantay Laya, ang patakaran ng dating  rehimeng Arroyo laban sa mamamayan, sa kasalukuyang rehimeng Aquino. Si Caloy Rodriguez ay ikalawang makabayang aktibista ng Timog Katagalugan na pinaslang sa loob ng limang araw. Noong Nobyembre 7, pinaslang sa Balayan, Batangas si Ireneo Rodriguez, magsasakang kasapi ng Samahan ng mga Magbubukid sa Batangas (SAMBAT) ng dalawang nakamaskarang lalaking nakasakay sa motorsiklo. Ika-21 si Ireneo at ika-22 si Caloy na mga biktima ng extra judicial killings mula nang umupo sa Malacanang si Noynoy Aquino.

 

Natapos na ang rehimeng Arroyo pero hindi nagtatapos ang walang habas na paglabag sa karapatang pantao sa ating bayan. Katarungan para kay Caloy Rodriguez at para kay Ireneo Rodriguez at sa lahat ng mga biktima ng pampulitikang pamamaslang! Ibasura ang Oplan Bantay Laya!

 

 
 
           

 

Press Release

13 November 2010

New Zealanders ask:  What happened to Aquino's vow of justice, closure for victims of killings?

Almost one year after the 23rd November Ampatuan massacre, New
Zealanders are interested to know whether justice has been obtained on
the case. "Are journalists now enjoying better protection under the
new Philippine government?" This was among the questions on the
Philippine human rights situation and peace process raised at the
public meeting organised by Auckland Philippines Solidarity (APS) and
Global Peace and Justice Auckland (GPJA) on 9th November as part of
the peace speaking tour of MR. LUIS JALANDONI and MS CONI LEDESMA,
representatives of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines
(NDFP) Peace Negotiating Panel.

"Until now, justice has not been obtained for the journalists and
civilians killed in the Ampatuan massacre. Journalists especially
those who expose corruption in government continue to face death
threats," Ledesma noted. Four months ago, Aquino declared his
administration's priority in a press conference, "Cases of
extra-judicial killings need to be solved, not just identify the
perpetrators but have them captured and sent to jail.” In particular,
Aquino promised justice for the victims of Maguindanao massacre.
 

 

"We join the Filipino people in demanding justice for the killings of
public union leader Caloy Rodriguez and peasant activist Rene
Rodriguez which brought to 22 the record of political killings under
Aquino. These latest cases on top of the Ampatuan massacre and
hundreds of unresolved political killings under the Arroyo government
show that trade unionists, peasant leaders and community activists
advocating for economic and political reforms remain targets of brutal
state repression," Luke Coxon, APS Spokesperson stated.
Contrary to that promise and despite Defense Secretary Voltaire
Gazmin’s admission that the murderers of Negros farm-worker and human
rights activist Benjamin Bayles were members of the military, the
Aquino government has yet to have the perpetrators sent to jail," APS
noted.

Coming from the ASEAN Summit in Vietnam last week, Aquino announced
that he has been invited by several heads of state including New
Zealand Prime Minister John Key to visit their respective countries.
“Besides the usual talks on business, we ask Mr John Key to make his
future meetings with Philippine president to be constructive for
peace-building efforts and resolving the human rights crisis in the
Philippines. Mr Aquino will deserve a warm welcome from Filipinos and
New Zealanders if he would come not only to court more NZ investments
to Philippines, but to bring good news about the progress of peace
negotiations and obtaining justice for human rights victims under his
administration,” Coxon concluded.

Reference:

Luke Coxon (09) 8276059, 028 25803203 luke_coxon@yahoo.com

 

-----------------------------------------------------

 

THE TOOLS OF DEATH SQUAD DEMOCRACY
by Roland G. Simbulan


(Book Review of OPLAN BANTAY LAYA: THE U.S.-ARROYO CAMPAIGN OF TERROR AND COUNTERINSURGENCY IN THE PHILIPPINES,Balay Internasyunal, U.P. Diliman, July 29, 2010)
From:  http://www.cenpeg.org/index.htm


Ibon Foundation has published a book that explores the deadly tools of our death squad democracy. The ingredients and elements of a classic Third World country are there : A selfish, pro-Western oligarchy that has almost complete control and influence over state power and institutions. Weak and compromised government institutions that cannot render real justice to the weak, and where we see institutionalized impunity to human rights, corruption and abuse of power. Lack of basic social services or even decent social security net. An economic and political system that basically preserves the power and dominance of the local elite and their foreign corporate counterparts in tapping the natural and human resources of a rich country with a predominantly poor majority.

This book examines how this situation is preserved despite people's resistance and struggles for a better life. It examines the emergence of the U.S.-inspired Oplan Bantay Laya (1 & 2) during the Arroyo administration. This counter-insurgency program was used to combat people's opposition not only to the detested Arroyo administration, but also to combat revolutionary nationalism challenging U.S. interests in the country.

The book tries to provide answers to key questions like:

1. What makes Oplan Bantay Laya distinct from past, failed counter-insurgency programs of previous administrations ?
2. What is the U.S. role in the formulation and implementation of Oplan Bantay Laya?
3. How does OBL compare with other past and present U.S. counterinsurgency campaigns, especially those ongoing in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This book tries to fill in these gaps.

The four major parts of the book: Oplan Bantay Laya, U.S. Counter-Insurgency Strategy, Impacts and Implications, and Unfinished Agenda, all weave together a tightly-knit reference on what is in fact a country case study of another failed counter-insurgency strategy and its impact on the Philippines.

If you have watched Christopher Nolan's latest film, "Inception", you will find that "almost every dream is like a nightmare and you wake up just when you are killed or fatally shot in your dream." Oplan Bantay Laya is not the only nightmare. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Norberto Gonzales, Jovito Palparan, et al are also part of the nightmare that devastated our nation for the past nine years, causing untold bloodletting and damage to the life, liberty and safety of our people.

The canvas on which the various authors in this book paint their chapters is splattered with the trail of blood and sickening horror of the extra-judicial and disappeared victims of Oplan Bantay Laya, the latest failed but nevertheless, deadly counterinsurgency campaign to inflict our people.

A major contribution of this book is that it firmly establishes the U.S. role in OBL, that is, as part of the U.S. strategy of suppressing revolutionary nationalism and insurgency. It investigates the tentacles of imperial America in directing, advising the political assassination of progressive mass leaders and their sympathizers whose only crime is to work for meaningful social reforms in our society.

Though there is a lot of government rhetoric and even a written blueprint for counterinsurgency to focus on socioeconomic measures to address poverty that is at the root of the armed insurgency and conflict, on the ground, the battlefield approach is still the dominant approach. The Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police and the paramilitaries are still the main agencies for counterinsurgency pursuing military objectives. The killings of unarmed social movement leaders, members and sympathizers can only exacerbate the conflict and further feed the flames of armed insurgency.

After Sept. 11, 2001, with the U.S. already thinly spread out in its direct military invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, Oplan Bantay Laya emerges as the alternative strategy to achieve U.S. foreign policy objectives in the Philippines. The local insurgency and the Muslim secessionist struggle - long in existence since the late 60s - are transformed into a " war on terror". The Pentagon bankrolls a Philippine Defense Reform Program where it directs the entire counterinsurgency program and structure of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, which now includes Bantay Laya.
 

Multi-dimensional but essentially political/ psychological in nature, Oplan Bantay Laya or OBL disguised U.S. intervention and covert operations in targeted areas in the country by introducing USAID- funded piece-meal community services, disaster relief and infrastructure, while selectively assassinating local activists and leaders. The tools in this counterinsurgency kit - now also used widely in Iraq and Afghanistan -- include a combination of community/social programs, but it also includes their "special ops " which is to strip out mid-level leaders and coordinators of militant mass movements whom they believe are part of the "political infrastructure" of the armed insurgency.
 

The public is also targeted by psychological operations to achieve support and demonize targeted sectors. However, the role of Fr. Romeo "Archie" Intengan's indoctrination of soldiers to eliminate all communists, and the Norberto Gonzales - Palparan tandem in the creation of "privatized" anti-communist death squads with the tolerance and support of the AFP/PNP, need to be further explored.

But counterinsurgency campaigns of terror that target unarmed people's advocates can only further radicalize--not terrorize -- the people as is the intention, especially those in the rural areas. The command structure of the military, police and security forces are themselves guilty of these dastardly activities, when they tolerate and encourage these crimes, and where no one is arrested or prosecuted. Police and meticulous detective work, as well as the preservation of vital evidence is necessary for the prosecution of those responsible.

 

 

 

 

 

I would have wanted to see included in this book an analyis of the U.S. Special Forces Counter-insurgency Manual which is one of the classified Pentagon documents leaked to WikiLeaks.com It has the title, FOREIGN INTERNAL DEFENSE TACTICS, TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES FOR SPECIAL FORCES (1994, 2004 ). What is very revealing is that the manual refers to itself as about, " what the U.S. learned about using death squads and propping up corrupt governments in Latin America and how to apply it in other places." The template and model that the manual uses is El Salvador where killings and torturing were done by the U.S.-backed army and right wing death squads affiliated with it, until the paramilitaries themselves got out of hand that they raped even American missionary nuns who were stopped at a checkpoint, causing massive outrage in the United States. According to a 2001 report of Amnesty International, many U.S. -backed right wing governments through their military and paramilitary death squads " committed extra-judical executions, other unlawful killings, disappearances and torture", and obviously with the advise and direction of U.S. military advisers.

A whole gamut of agreements keep the AFP (and even the PNP) under the thumb of the United States: the Mutual Defense Treaty, the Military Assistance Agreement, the Visiting Forces Agreement, the Mutual Logistics and Support Agreement, the Security Engagement Board Agreement. The book takes and hard look at the tentacles of Imperial America and the mechanisms of U.S. influence and control from the JUSMAG and the USAID projects concentrated in areas of unrest most contested by insurgency and the Muslim rebellion. Today, an entire contingent of 600 U.S. Special Operations Forces composed of elite SEALS and Ranger Teams provide direction, advise, training, intelligence and even surgical combat operations to many of the AFP's front-line battalions all over the country.

The selection of so-called "quality targets" who are identified for political assassination, abduction, and disappearances can only rely heavily on battlefield intelligence and order of battle lists. This has been upgraded with CIA up-country advisers and U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) technicians who assist to improve the record-keeping ability of the Philippine armed and intelligence services through the provision of special computers.This monitors, records and classifies the rivers of digitized intelligence information that flow throughout the country.

This book outlines the nature of OBL and its different forms, and identifies the local and foreign "agencies" that actually implement it in both lethal and "non-lethal" forms. It studies the emergence and evolution of U.S. counterinsurgency doctrine and argues that it is also very much operative in the Philippines. In so doing, it argues that counterinsurgency programs such as the OBL are not intentionally formulated and applied for the Philippines alone, but other places as well. The dirty wars in Latin America launched by military dictators whose armies were trained and armed by the Pentagon and CIA to suppress progressive movements, and the Operation Phoenix in Vietnam which liquidated as many as 40,000 unarmed suspects in the political infrastructure of the South Vietnam National Liberation Front, to the US training of the Indonesian Kopassus (Army Special Forces Command) which abducted and killed many Indonesian farmers, workers and intellectuals during the Suharto military dictatorship -- all testify that other places besides the Philippines had been testing grounds for this counterinsurgency doctrine -- perhaps with other names.

Counterinsurgency doctrine simultaneously evolved in different locations as a product of similar factors as the various U.S. administrations groped for ways of combating revolutionary nationalism (both Islamic, Marxist and secular), in the Third World. During the Arroyo administration, OBL and U.S. counterinsurgency strategy gained cohesion over time with the recognition and acceptance that its seemingly unrelated components constitute a political / psychological strategy for achieving U.S. objectives. But what about the role of other U.S. allies like Australia and Israel, among others, whose intelligence operatives and special forces are also now actively involved in honing and assisting in local counterinsurgency operations?

OBL was eventually elevated to the status of a de facto national security strategy by the Arroyo administration, which in attempting to justify its illegal stay in power, gave this strategy an overt profile with ideological cohesion and rationale provided by such rabid clerico-fascists like Fr. Archie Intengan and his disciple Norberto Gonzales. In this sense, the Arroyo administration was itself an expression of OBL. For this Arroyo will be remembered as as extrajudicial killer as expressed by OBL-- distinctly stamping our own brand of death squad democracy.

The Alston recommendations found in the U.N. Special Report on Extrajudicial Killings are specific enough. But scrapping the OBL could just produce another counterinsurgency strategy clone with another name as they have done before.

I have always believed that the state can either be a very repressive apparatus that can cause so much misery and suffering to the people, or, if redirected, it can be placed in the hands of an enlightened people to serve its ends and national interests, and to achieve a higher quality of life.

There is the need to resist repression. But, how do we make our government and armed forces work for us instead of being our oppressors and enemies? Transparency and accountability in government are necessary to monitor and check abuses, as well as to make civilian and military agencies accountable for actions that they do. There is a need for more and effective Congressional oversight and reform measures on the following:

1. The misuse of military and intelligence funds, not only those under the DND/PNP, but also those under "contingency funds" of the Office of the President, line departments, and local governments.
2. Local intelligence should likewise also be directed at monitoring U.S. intervention in the country as well as other foreign agencies.
3. There should be transparency in sensitive issues as national security to curb abuse of power and authority and so that they cannot mislead or undermine our very own people's security.
4. The Commission on Audit should be tasked to carefully audit any intelligence program, a power COA never had.

The victims of Oplan Bantay Laya await justice, and we all expect that justice be rendered from the new administration that has promised to bring the perpetrators to the bar of justice.

Maybe it would be a kind of redemption if we could unify as a nation against the real enemies of national sovereignty who have divided us through their divide and rule tactics, in order to dominate us. Better still, it would be a kind redemption if justice was rendered to all the victims and the extra-judicial masterminds were punished.

The prospects for peace are always there as they have always been there. If the rest of the developing world is any guide, economic development that benefits the majority of the people is the best road map to lasting peace.

Overall, the book is a major contribution to the literature on the impact of the U.S.- directed counter-insurgency policy, and how and why the old recycled strategies have failed. I hope that the counter-insurgents in the new administration will not fail to read this book.

 

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Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan-Kilusang Mayo Uno
Solidarity of Workers in Southern Tagalog-May First Movement)
PAMANTIK-KMU

STATEMENT
14 November 2010
Reference: Hermie Marasigan, Spokesperson, Mobile No: +63.9994975498.

Statement of Condemnation on the Murder of Carlo ”Caloy” Rodriguez

Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan-Kilusang Mayo condemns to the highest terms the killing of Carlo “Caloy” Rodriguez, president of Nagkakaisang Lakas ng Manggagawa ng Calamba Water District (NLM-CWD), an affiliate of Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE).

While on his home from work, Caloy was shot by motorcycle-riding gunmen at about 5:30 PM on November 12, 2010 in Halang, Calamba City, Laguna. Caloy died instantly after sustaining four (4) gunshots.

Caloy is a known and respected leader not only in the public sector. Workers in the private sector are in arms with the Calamba Water District union which Caloy leads in the commemoration of International Labor Day every May 1 in the regional activity in Calamba City. As union leader, Caloy also exerted all their efforts to take action with the struggle of other marginalized sectors in the Southern Tagalog region.

Similar to PAMANTIK-KMU Chairman Diosdado “Ka Fort” Fortuna and BAYAN-Southern Tagalog leader Noli Capulong who were also assassinated in Calamba City during the time of US-Arroyo regime, Caloy’s relentless commitment to the working class and the people is what the perpetrators want to put an end to by means of killing.

Extra-judicial killings continue in the region beside the trumped up charges against leaders and activists. Caloy is the first victim of extra-judicial killing in Laguna under the administration of Noynoy Aquino. The military and the Aquino administration which only continues to implement the counter-insurgency Oplan Bantay Laya, are held accountable for the killing of Caloy.

The local government under Mayor Joaquin Chipeco is also held responsible for the murder of another respected leader in Calamba City. Chipeco, who is also the chief of the CALABARZON Peace and Order Council, allowed military deployment in the city.###

PAHAYAG
ika-14 ng Nobyembre 2010
Reference: Hermie Marasigan, Spokesperson, Mobile No: +63.9994975498.

 

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