A Gathering and Caravan for Peace

 

 

Quezon City, Manila

 

September 2,  2013

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NDFP Negotiating Panel message of solidarity to the gathering and caravan for peace on 2 September 2013
 

Luis Jalandoni
Chairperson
NDFP Negotiating Panel

September 01, 2013

 

View on the web


 

The Negotiating Panel of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) conveys its warm greetings of solidarity to the organizers and participants of the Gathering and Caravan for Peace from Quezon City Memorial to Plaza Miranda on 2 September 2013.


We firmly support the initiatives of your newly-born Citizens Alliance for Just Peace (CALL for JUST PEACE) and other peace advocates throughout the country to strive effectively for a just and lasting peace.


A just and lasting peace, as you have declared, requires addressing the root causes of the 44-year-old armed conflict. It means genuine land reform to respond to the basic aspirations of the peasantry which comprises the vast majority of our population. It means national industrialization to lift our backward agrarian economy to a developed progressive economy that can provide the needs of the entire population. It calls for respect for human rights and international humanitarian law. It necessarily means asserting our national sovereignty and independence. Today, this means firm opposition to escalating US military intervention, extended US military access, US troops, warships and drones.


The ever worsening economic crisis, caused by the regime’s anti-people and anti-national policies, afflicts all sectors of the Filipino people. This economic crisis, coupled with the political crisis aggravated by the massive pork barrel scandal, underlines the need for negotiating and forging agreements on social, economic and political reforms. The gross and widespread violations of human rights and international humanitarian law resulting from the regime’s Oplan Bayanihan underscore the urgency of respecting and complying with the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL)

The NDFP is open to continuing the peace negotiations with the Aquino government, despite the latter’s declarations to the media that it is terminating the peace talks with the NDFP. The GPH ignores the requirement in the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) that termination requires written notice by one Party to the other.
 


 


The NDFP stands for peace negotiations on the basis of The Hague Joint Declaration, the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), the CARHRIHL and other binding peace agreements.


It is most fitting that the 21st anniversary of The Hague Joint Declaration, signed on 1 September 1992, is celebrated. The HJD is the framework agreement which allowed both Parties to forge more than a dozen agreements. It enshrines the principle of non-capitulation and the principles of reciprocity and parity. It sets the substantive agenda of respect for HR and IHL, socio-economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms and end of hostilities and disposition of forces. The direction and final aim is clear.
 

The NDFP demands the release of the 430 political prisoners, including the more than a dozen NDFP Consultants and JASIG-protected NDFP personnel illegally arrested and detained by the Manila government in gross violation of the JASIG.


Ka Fidel Agcaoili, Vice-Chairperson and Spokesperson of the NDFP Negotiating Panel and Chairperson of the NDFP Monitoring Committee under the CARHRIHL, has been in the Philippines since early July 2013. A major objective of his is to ascertain the real intent of GPH President Aquino with regards the peace negotiations with the NDFP.

In the following days, Agcaoili will visit NDFP Consultants in Camp Crame and Bicutan detention centers.


We know that your campaign for a just and lasting peace includes the call for the release of political prisoners and JASIG-protected personnel of the NDFP. We suggest that you visit them, not only those in Metro Manila, but also those in Mindanao, Visayas and provinces in Luzon. In the Cordillera, you can visit Grayson Naogsan, the son of Cordillera People’s Democratic Front (CPDF) spokesperson, Simon “Ka Filiw” Naogsan, in Ifugao, and Kennedy Bangibang, peace consultant for Cordillera and national minority affairs, in Baguio City.
 

We wish you the utmost success in your creative initiative for a just peace during this Gathering and Caravan for Peace on 2 September 2013. We assure you and other peace advocates our solidarity and cooperation in our common striving for a just and lasting peace in our country.
 

ONWARD FOR A JUST AND LASTING PEACE FOR THE FILIPINO PEOPLE!

 

 

   
 
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Call for Just Peace
Citizens Alliance for Just Peace
PHILIPPINE ECUMENICAL PEACE PLATFORM
WAGING PEACE PHILIPPINES
PILGRIMS FOR PEACE
SULONG CARHRIHL

Press Statement
September 2, 2013

TIME TO MOVE THE TALKS!

We, concerned peace advocates from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao earnestly call on the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) to immediately resume the stalled peace talks.

We view with deep concern the breakdown in the peace negotiations due to unresolved issues in both the regular and special tracks. The regular track which involves the formal talks on the substantive agenda has been on an impasse mainly over the release of detained NDFP consultants. The special track, which involves talks on a proposal for alliance and truce and is parallel and complementary to the regular track, is likewise stalled.

We believe that consistently honouring signed agreements builds on the trust imperative and the kind of peace architecture both Parties had mutually envisioned. Hence, we call for the immediate resumption of the formal peace talks in accordance with the Hague Joint Declaration and other bilateral agreements. The implementation of JASIG would provide conditions conducive to the resumption and continuation of the GPH-NDFP talks, specifically, safety and immunity guarantees for all those who participate in the talks, from either side. The full implementation of CARHRIHL and the reactivation of the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) will help mitigate the impact of the armed conflict, deter human rights violations, provide redress to the victims and end the climate of impunity.

We are aware of the pressing need for social and economic reforms, which is the second item in the substantive agenda of the peace talks, geared to addressing the continuing hardships of our people, especially the poor and the oppressed. It is incumbent on both Parties to immediately return to the negotiating table and work at reaching an agreement on these urgent reforms. The two Parties are therefore urged to find ways and to take measures to resolve the issue on the release of detained NDFP consultants and thus break the current impasse.

We likewise urge the GPH and NDFP to resume talks on the special track to explore immediate and practical areas of cooperation such as upholding national sovereignty, agrarian reform and national industrialization alongside the cessation of armed hostilities. We have confidence that simultaneous discussions on both tracks can mutually enhance the prospects of reaching constructive agreements.

We believe that the resumption of the peace talks between the GPH and NDFP will redound to immediate as well as long term benefits for our people. We therefore commit ourselves to accompany the peace negotiations and contribute to the discussions on the substantive agenda in both regular and special tracks. We shall continue to undertake and support all efforts towards the attainment of a just and enduring peace throughout the land.

Time is of the essence. End the prolonged impasse. Resume the talks, now.

Reference:

Conference Minister Homar Distajo
Pilgrims for Peace
09339604907/ pilgrims.peace.phils@gmail.com

Ms. Joven Reyes
Sulong CARHRIHL
09175152184/434 0289; sulongnet@yahoo.com

 

QC Memorial Circle: Start of Peace caravan
     
     
     
           
     
     
     

 

 

3/F NCCP Bldg., 879 EDSA, Quezon City ¤ 02.9251786 ¤ pilgrims.peace.phils@gmail.com

Press Release
September 2, 2013

Peace Advocates urge GPH-NDFP Peace talks

Pilgrims for Peace co-initiated a Caravan for Peace with the Citizens Alliance for Just Peace on Monday, September 2, 2013 to call for the resumption of peace talks of the GPH and the NDFP. Set to coincide with the 21st anniversary of the signing of the Hague Joint Declaration of 1992, the Caravan for Peace brought together co-initiators Sulong CARHRIHL, Philippine Ecumenical Forum, Waging Peace, and Pilgrims for Peace and other peace advocates who are calling on the GPH and NDFP to resume peace talks. The group journeyed from Quezon Memorial Circle to Plaza Miranda, stopping at various points to raise their voices for peace.

“By joining together we intend to amplify our call for a just and lasting peace as it was agreed in the Hague Joint Declaration of 1992. We support the people’s call to push for both the regular track with a substantive agenda that aims to address the roots of the armed conflict in order to attain a just and lasting peace, and the special track that aims for an immediate just peace through an alliance and truce,” said Rev. Homar Rubert Distajo.

“As peace advocates we call both sides to uphold the Hague Joint Declaration of 1992, to Implement the CARHRIHL by reconvening the Joint Monitor Committee and mitigate the impact of armed conflict and to implement the Joint Agreement on Security and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG). Respect for and implementation of agreements will go a long way in moving the peace talks,” said Rev. Distajo.

The Citizen’s Alliance for Just Peace also released a joint statement Time to Move the Talks which has been signed by leaders of their organizations and other peace advocates.

“We urge the Philippine Government and the National Democratic Front in the Philippines to resume formal talks on Social and Economic Reforms the next substantive agenda in the talks, and we also encourage them to resume talks on Alliance and Truce. The Filipino people hope for immediate as well as long-term benefits that can be achieved through peace talks. As our joint statement Time to Move the Talks clearly states, ‘Time of is of the essence. End the prolonged impasse. Resume the talks, now,’” concluded Rev. Distajo. #


Reference:

Agong Capus
Media Liaison
09339604907/ pilgrims.peace.phils@gmail.com

 

     
     
     
           
Gathering and Program at the Sto. Domingo Church
           
     
     
     

 

 

 

 

 

Press Statement

Sept. 2, 2013

Reference: Cristina “Tinay” Palabay, Secretary General, 0917-3162831

Angge Santos, Media Liaison, 0918-9790580

Karapatan calls Noynoy Aquino to resume peace talks, release detained NDFP consultants

Karapatan today joined the “Caravan for Peace” as it slammed the arrest of peace consultant, Loida Tuzo Magpatoc, 54, and called for the release of all JASIG-protected peace consultants of National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

The “Caravan for Peace” is a joint initiative of the Citizens Alliance for Just Peace (CALL for JUST PEACE) composed of peace advocates from Sulong CARHRIHL, Pilgrims for Peace, Philippine Economic Peace Platforms (PEPP) and Waging Peace Philippines. In July, the same organizations issued a joint statement calling for the resumption of the peace talks between the GPH and the NDFP on the basis of previously signed agreements, especially the Hague Joint Declaration signed on September 1, 1992 and the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) signed in 1995.

The Hague Joint Declaration served as the framework of the GPH-NDFP peace talks since 1992 but has been called by the Aquino government as a “document of perpetual division”; while due observance of the JASIG has been put to question as the GPH continues to arrest JASIG-protected NDFP consultants to the peace process.

“The JASIG is again violated with the arrest of Loida Magpatoc who was arrested on July 28 in Digos City, Davao del Sur. The arrest shows the Aquino government blatant disregard to the agreements the GPH had signed with the NDFP,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.

Magpatoc is a holder of NDFP Document of Identification No. ND978254 using the assumed name PuriFeleo. Magpatoc’s arrest brings to 13 the total number of JASIG-protected peace consultants in detention.

Palabay added, "it is clear that the Aquino administration already killed the peace talks between his government and the NDFP as it continues to violate previously signed agreements and by the continued surveillance, harassment and, arrest of NDFP peace consultants and staff on trumped up criminal charges."

Magpatoc, in the course of undertaking her work on the Social and Economic Reform agenda of the peacetalks, was arrested for charges of robbery with double homicide and damage to properties. She was detained at the Digos City PNP Station for six days with continuous tactical interrogations by Dept. Of National Defence - National, 10th Infantry Division Task Force Tugis, and CIDG Reg. 11.On August 21, she was transferred at the Camp Bagong Diwa (female dorm) where she is facing nine cases, all false criminal charges.

Meanwhile, NDFP Panel Member Fidel V. Agcaoili sent a protest letter to the GPH Negotiating Panel on the surveillance and harassment against him by the two motorcycle-riding men on 29 July 2013. Agcaoili was in Manila for consultations and meetings with several groups on the possibility of the resumption of the peace negotiations.

Palabay also cited the inaction of the GPH on the enforced disappearance of 10 NDFP peace consultants and staff during the Arroyo government.

"It is ironic that those who seriously work for the resolution of the roots of unpeace become targets of the government’s surveillance, harassment and illegal arrest and other forms of human rights violations. It is a shame that the Aquino government mouths peace but cannot stand by all the agreements the GPH signed with the NDFP. Aquino’s hullabaloo on peace is simply a psywar tactic of its Oplan Bayanihan," Palabay concluded. ###

 

 

     
     
     
     
           
     
 
     
     

 

 

 

 

NEWS RELEASE
02 September 2013

For Reference: REP LUZVIMINDA C ILAGAN 0920-9213221
REP EMMI A. DE JESUS 0917-3221203
Jang Monte (Public Information Officer) 0917-4049119

GABRIELA LAWMAKER CALLS FOR IMMEDIATE PEACE TALKS RESUMPTION AS COMMUNITIES TERRORIZED BY HEIGHTENED MILITARIZATION

Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Luzviminda Ilagan pushed anew today for the resumption of peace negotiations between the Philippine government (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

“The call to go back to the negotiating table and arrive at mutually acceptable terms on how the roots of the armed conflict can be properly addressed cannot be more urgent and timely,” said Ilagan.

The Gabriela solon and colleague Rep. Emmi De Jesus have filed House Resolution 162 Urging President Aquino to Pursue the Policy Direction of Achieving a Just and Lasting Peace through the resumption of Peace Negotiations with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and to Institute Confidence Building Measures Conducive to Resumption.

The resolution took note of President Aquino’s glaring omission of the peace negotiations in the 2013 State of the Nation Address. It also stressed on how militarization has disrupted the flow of much needed social services in far-flung and depressed rural communities.

According to Ilagan the spate of attacks, firefights and encounters as well as the intensified counter insurgency operations have also increasingly terrorized and destroyed indigenous and rural communities.

“A case in point is the recent aerial bombing employed by joint forces of the AFP and PNP in Aguid, Sagada last August 29-30 as well as in Malibcong, Abra last May 31. Intensified military operations have also forced thousands of Agusanon Manobo families to leave their homes and livelihood in July,” said Ilagan.

Ilagan also said militarization has disrupted the education of children with schools being used for military encampment and children traumatized by military presence and harassment.

The Gabriela solon hopes the resolution will be taken up at the House of Representatives soon and that confidence building measures, including the immediate release of NDFP consultants and political prisoners are completed.

Members of the women’s partylist group also joined today’s peace caravan to demand the immediate resumption of peace negotiations. #

 

     
     
     
           
     
     
     
           



Magkano ba ang halaga ng Mapayapang Umaga?
Ni Kislap Alitaptap
31 Agosto 2013


Magkano ba ang halaga ng bawat bomba?
Na inihuhulog, sumasabog, at pumipinsala
Sa aming mga uma, at nagtataboy sa
Biyayang alay ng manlalayag na ulap.

Magkano ba ang halaga ng bawat bala?
Na bumabali’t sumusugat sa mga sanga
Ng mga punong umaaruga sa mga bata
At kumalinga sa aming mga Ama’t Ina.

Magkano ba ang halaga ng bawat bomba?
Na sumisira sa daluyan ng aming patubig,
At pumupunit sa ngiti ng mga palay
Na nakatindig sa aming papayew.

Magkano ba ang halaga ng bawat bala?
Na sumasagitsit sa aming pandinig
At naghahatid ng takot sa aming mga anak,
At nagsasabit ng pangamba sa aming mga dampa.

Sa pag-ihip ba ng hangi’y matatangay nito
Ang bagsik ng pulburang nanunuot
Sa aming mga balat.

 

Sa pagtubo ba ng bagong damo ay matatakpan
Nito ang rimarim ng mga alaalang itinatanim
Ng karahasan sa aming gunita.

Sa pagdungaw ba ng buwan sa binta-bintana ng
Kabunduka’y malulusaw nito ang kilabot ng mga
Pagyanig na gumibimbal sa’ming pamamahinga.

Magkano ba ang halaga ng kanilang pagkabata?
Magkano ba ang halaga ng aming pangamba?
Magkano ba ang halaga ng sariling pagpapasya?

Magkano ba ang halaga ng mapayapang umaga? #
 

 

 

Media Release
02 September 2013
 

End Sagada air strikes, resume peace talks – KMU

Joining a caravan this morning calling for the resumption of the peace talks between the Aquino government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, workers led by labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno demanded an end to the air strikes being carried out by the Philippine Air Force against the New People’s Army in Sagada, Mt. Province since last Friday.

In the “Gathering and Caravan for Peace,” which travelled from the Quezon City Memorial Circle to Plaza Miranda in Manila, the workers condemned Pres. Noynoy Aquino for choosing to go on overkill against the NPA instead of seeking ways to address the root causes of the armed conflict through the peace talks with the NDFP, of which the NPA is a member.

KMU said the Aquino government’s militarist approach to the long-standing armed conflict in the country is highlighted by the air strikes in Sagada, which the government declared as a “peace zone” in 1988 and should be free from armed hostilities.

“It is revolting that Aquino is using a militarist approach against communist rebels and their supporters and is bombing peace zones like Sagada. It is clear that he does not want to seek ways to address the causes of the armed conflict through the peace talks,” said Lito Ustarez, KMU vice-chairperson.

“Instead of heeding calls to abolish the presidential pork barrel and the pork barrel system, Aquino is desperately trying to suppress critics of his government, the NPA included. He is clearly in a state of panic as protests against presidential and congressional pork mount,” he added.

“If Aquino thinks that this over-the-top military offensive will deflect the public’s attention away from the pork barrel issue, then he is grossly mistaken. This only shows how far he is willing to go in order to defend the pork barrel system, especially his huge pork barrel funds,” he said.

The caravan was organized by peace advocacy groups Pilgrims for Peace, Waging Peace, Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform and Sulong Carhrihl in time for the 21st anniversary of the “The Hague Joint Declaration” last Sept. 1.

The declaration states that “Formal peace negotiations between the (Government of the Republic of the Philippines) and the NDF shall be held to resolve the armed conflict” and that “The common goal of the… negotiations shall be the attainment of a just and lasting peace.”

“Aquino has so far been the No. 1 saboteur of the peace talks between the NDFP and the GPH, refusing to recognize agreements signed by previous governments like The Hague Declaration. It’s clear that he does not share the ideal of a just and lasting peace and harbors the illusion that the decades-long armed conflict in the country can be ended if he deploys greater violence against the NPA,” Ustarez said.

Reference: Lito Ustarez, KMU vice-chairperson, 0908-6491992
 

           


Condemn the brutal bombings and massive military operations in Upland Bontoc and the Nothern Barrios of Sagada

Magno Udyaw
Spokesperson
NPA Mountain Province Provincial Operations Command (Leonardo Pacsi Command)

September 03, 2013

In a desperate effort to cover-up the blatant failure of Oplan Bayanihan and stamp out the rising tide of the advancing people’s war to a higher level, combined contingents of the PNP Public Safety Battalion forces of Mountain Province, Benguet and Abra joined forces with combat troops of the Task Force Tadian under the 5th Infantry Division in launching massive military and bombing operations in the vicinity of the northern barrios of Sagada and upland Bontoc, both in the Mountain Province, last August 29 to 30.

The Leonardo Pacsi Command of the NPA-Mountain Province commends its Red fighters for bravely engaging the enemy and successfully inflicting casualties. At the same time, we condemn the military and police elements in their indiscriminate aerial bombings and strafing causing damages on civilian properties and animals, and trauma on the populace particularly the children.

Outmaneuvered on the ground, two helicopter gunships continuously dropped undetermined number of rocket bombs and indiscriminately strafed the vicinities of the northern barrios of Sagada, Dalican and Mainit of Bontoc for two days.

No different from the bombings in Malibcong,Abra last May, most affected were the children in the vicinity who suffered psychological effects. A lot of them were traumatized. Moreover, farmers were prevented from attending to their crops, animals, and water systems.The damage done along the Mabileng communal irrigation system due to the recent typhoons and monsoon rains needing immediate repair works, was exacerbated as some portions were hit directly by the said indiscriminate bombings and aerial strafing. Even smaller irrigation systems servicing the rice paddies at Ambuchaaw and Demang, Aguid, Sagada; Pakanan, Mainit; Matbo and Mapagpag, Dalican, Bontoc were hit. Spring sources along Demang mountain sides tapped for domestic water needs of the northern barrios of Sagada were not spared. Civilians undertaking repair works along the Mabileng communal irrigation system were strafed at. Several animals gracing in the Demang mountain slopes were reportedly missing. Similarly ,hunters were denied the right to visit their wild boar traps.
 

Clearly, the massive military operations,indiscriminate bombings and aerial strafing demonstrate the US-Aquino Regime’s threadbare treatment of the national minorities and their collective right on ancestral land. Malacañang has unleashed the sword of war on the Cordillera people using both the AFP and the PNP to militarize the area and perpetuate national oppression of the indigenous people. It is at the height of insanity that while the village folks were preoccupied with rehabilitating their farm lots, communal irrigation systems and water work systems damaged by the recent typhoons and monsoon rains, the PNP- trained counter-insurgency units and combat troops of the 5th Infantry Division launched joint combat operations. However, it failed in its operation against the alert Red fighters who had been temporarily encamped while several units were dispersed in nearby villages assisting farmers in their relief and rehabilitation work.

It is worthwhile to note that while villagers are victims of these bombings, not a single statement can be heard from Gov. Leonard Mayaen, indicating that he is in cohort with the military. It is during these denunciatory times when kailyans are supposed to be supported by their elected officials.Where is the braggadocio exhibited by Mayaen in condemning the NPA on the successful tactical offensive against the RPSB counter-insurgency training last June? Why is there no ‘indignation rally’ this time against such indiscriminate and unjustified attacks on the civilian populace?

We call on pro-people and independent bodies like the church to conduct a fact finding mission in the areas mentioned to determine the psychological effects of the bombings on the village folks especially on the children, the damages done on crops, infrastructures and properties.

We call on the newly elected local government officials to stand on the side of their constituents in condemning this brazen military operation, in demanding justice for individual victims and communities, and reparation to damages.

We hold accountable all AFP and PNP officials for the violations of the provisions of Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) in the indiscriminate and irresponsible bombing and strafing of civilians, crops and properties. We call on all Red fighters and people’s militia to launch tactical offensives against the fascist troops of the reactionary government. Further inflict heavy blows on the enemy as we defend our ancestral lands, rights and resources.

We call on all the people and revolutionary forces to end this rotten system that is perpetuating national oppression on indigenous people and wanton plunder on our rich natural resources for their insatiable capitalist greed.#

           
Program at UST
           
     
 
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NEWS RELEASE
01 September 2013

For Reference: REP LUZVIMINDA C ILAGAN 0920-9213221
REP EMMI A. DE JESUS 0917-3221203
Jang Monte (Public Information Officer) 0917-4049119

GABRIELA SOLON DENOUNCES AERIAL BOMBINGS IN SAGADA INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES

“We strongly denounce the aerial bombings employed by the PNP and the AFP in its counter insurgency operations in Aguid, Sagada, Mountain Province.”

Thus said Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Luzviminda Ilagan who reiterated that the use of aerial bombings in the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ pursuit of the New People’s Army inflicts immeasurable damage to indigenous people’s communities, lives and livelihood.

Aerial bombings and indiscriminate firing reportedly affected not just Sagada but the municipalities of Besao, Sadanga and Bontoc where Fidelisan, Dallic and Bontoc tribes reside.

“While community leaders and human rights groups have yet to give a complete assessment of the damage, initial reports show that several bombs were dropped on communities and farms. Crops and livelihood were destroyed and several lives were in danger,” said Ilagan.

Joint PNP and AFP forces pursued NPA guerillas from August 29-30 using massive aerial attacks and indiscriminate firing.

According to Ilagan, the trauma that aerial bombings leave on communities, especially on children cannot be emphasized enough. “The trauma leaves permanent scars, making children constantly fearful if not violent.”

Initial reports also indicate that elements of the 50th IB are also encamped at the Aguid Elementary School and its nearby basketball court.

The Gabriela solon also said this was not the first time that Cordillera communities reported aerial attacks. A similar incident was reported last May 31 in Malibcong, Abra where the 503rd IB reportedly dropped several bombs some 40 meters away from minors gathering snails and escargot in nearby rice fields and 60 meters away from a rice granary.

“Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan has wreaked widespread destruction among indigenous communities. We join calls for the immediate demilitarization of Cordillera communities and hold those responsible for these atrocities accountable.”#

 


 


Call 4 Peace: resume peace talks now


Bishop Emeritus Most Rev. Deogracias S. Iñiguez, Jr.,DD of the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform and Fr. Marlon Yakal of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP) were among the speakers who supported the call to resume the GPH-NDFP peace talks currently stalled under the Aquino administration. The gathering, caravan and march was organized by the Citizens Alliance for Just Peace (Call 4 Peace) composed of major peace networks to commemorate the signing of the Hague Joint Declaration.

Click link for video:
http://www.kodao.org/

 

           
     
     
     

 

CPP condemns AFP for aerial bombings, school occupation in Sagada
Communist Party of the Philippines

August 31, 2013

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) condemned the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for carrying-out indiscriminate aerial bombings and strafings yesterday morning in Sagada, Mt. Province and occupying and making use of an elementary school as a military camp.

“Fascist soldiers of the AFP, employing two MG-520 attack helicopters, launched two successive aerial bombardment runs yesterday morning in Sagada, pounding the land and watershed areas with bombs and bullets, endangering the lives of thousands of residents and causing environmental damage to the watershed areas.”

The attack helicopters were deployed by the Philippine Air Force’s 1st Division Strike Wing.

“That the AFP was pursuing a unit of the New People’s Army (NPA) in the area is no justification for carrying out such aerial bombardments which have no clear targets, subject entire communities to fear and traumatize civilian residents,” said the CPP.

“The use of aerial bombardment to awe and instill fear on the people is one of the most cowardly acts of war being conducted by the AFP in the course of its Oplan Bayanihan war of suppression against the Filipino people and their revolutionary forces,” added the CPP.

“While unleashing aerial fire, ground troops of the AFP train their guns against the people who they regard as combatants,” said the CPP. “Entire communities are subjected to the AFP’s suppression operations.”

“The CPP condemns the occupation and encampment of armed combat troops of the Aguid elementary school in the outskirts of Sagada. The military occupation of the school is in outright violation of rights of children and subjects the students, their parents, their teachers and the community to fear and abuse.”

The CPP calls on the Filipino people, human rights advocates, children’s rights advocates and agencies of international humanitarian law, to condemn and hold the US-Aquino regime responsible for its campaign of aerial bombardments and policy of encamping in schools and school grounds.

Just last May 30 and 31, the AFP also dropped bombs in farmlands of Barangays Gacab, Duldulao, Umnap, Buanao, and Lat-ey in Malibcong Abra. At least two teenagers were traumatized as the bombs were dropped around 40 meters from their residence. In April, the 1002nd Bde carried out an aerial bombing run in Brgy. Luayon, Makilala, North Cotabato causing grave damage to nearby communities and their farms. Last March, forces of the 10th ID carried indiscriminate aerial bombings for two days in barangays of Malita, Davao del Sur.

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Aquino regime’s ‘new approach’ to peace is all-out war of oppression and suppression of the Filipino people

Ma. Laya Guerrero, Kabataang Makabayan Spokesperson
September 2, 2013

The Kabataang Makabayan, the revolutionary mass organization of the Filipino youth allied to the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) , condemns in highest terms the aerial bombardment in Sagada, Mountain province and the military encampment of a school starting on August 30.
 

Without any regard to the indigenous communities of Sagada and in brazen violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), the Philippine Airforce MG-520 attack helicopters indiscriminately bombed the areas which the military claims as an New People’s Army (NPA) camp.
 

The residents and indigenous communities of Sagada are also rightfully linking that the military is hell-bent on flushing out the NPA in order to eliminate opposition against the government’s plans to build industrial wind-farm and develop mining of prime copper and gold in those areas.
 

Subjecting entire communities to fear and indicriminate bombings and attacks committed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines in this case, again proves that the ‘new approach’ to peace of the Aquino government is nothing but all-out war against the revolutionary forces and also the suppression of the entire communities, unarmed and non-combatants under the brutal counter-insurgency operations Oplan Bayanihan.
 

We call on human rights and peace advocates, students and youth groups to stand against the blatant violations of the Aquino regime, sowing terror to communities and running amok in villages as they search for NPAs, including the use of schools in its military operations.
 

There had been relentles cases nationwide of military incursion in schools, film showings and red-baiting of youth and student groups using the revised “Knowing thy Enemy”, building outposts inside schools and within 50-meters vicinity and harassment of students and youth activists.
 

Meanwhile, Kabataang Makabayan denounces the Aquino regime’s persistent lies on the real reasons why the peace-talks of the government with the NDFP remains in limbo. The Aquino regime’s intransigence on not honoring past agreements with the NDFP like the Hague Joint Declaration which is the soul and framework of the peace-talks and the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) is the real cause why the peace talks collapsed.
 

While the regime through its OPAPP and then government’s panel chief Alex Padilla peddle the lies and propaganda that it is the NDFP which stalled the talks, the fact is the Aquino government which is blatantly violating JASIG by arresting NDFP 14 consultants to the peace-talks which the NDFP demands to be freed and subjecting others to enforced disappreance.
 

That Aquino himself remains mum on the need for the government to resume negotiations with the revolutionary forces, proves its indefensible narrow-mindedness and offers only militaristic solutions to the raging civil war.
It is the Aquino regime therefore , who has the primary responsibility why the next substantive agenda of the peace-talks on socio-economic reforms are forestalled, after the CARHRIHL which the regime also countlessly violates.
 

By declaring unilaterally that the peace-talks collapse and that the Aquino regime will not be willing to talk unless the NPA lays down arms is talking hollow ‘peace’. Perhaps the Aquino regime should be lectured on the elementary and fundamental roots why in the first place there is armed resistance of the people, and why the Filipino youth continues to embrace the revolutionary struggle as the only sure solution to the oppression of the Filipino people.
 

It is the semi-colonial and semi-feudal system dominated by imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat-capitalism which is the root of the armed resistance of the people. The class dictatorship of the feudal lords, big compradors and bureaucrat-capitalists who are embroiled in deep-seated corruption, continues to plague our people with massive poverty, unemployment, sagging wages, landlessness of peasants and land-monopoly of the landlords, homelessness, neglect of social services such as education and health amidst massive destruction of our natural resources for profits of the few.
 

The compradors connive with landlords in connecting the backward agrarian economy and semi-value added industries to foreign monopoly-capitalists or imperialists to generate maximum profit. The profit-making ventures they do at the expense of the toiling people. They do not wish to implement national industrialization and genuine agrarian reform for national progress and as precondition to answer majority of people’s socio-economic woes.
Instead the ruling government which is the representive of the tyranny of these ruling classes in our country implements programs dictated by the imperialists to maintain their rule and the economic system that continue to benefit them and oppresses the people.
 

The US-Aquino ruling clique also continues to implement the imperialist dictated policies of liberalization, privatization, denationalization and deregulation that worsens the semi-colonial and semi-feudal set-up. Primarily the US imperialist, does not only wants to heighten its military hold on our country but also seek to drag the economy to further liberalization and seeking to change the Philippine Constitution to maximize 100% ownership of land and resources in our country and 100% ownership of capital on local companies.
 

The corruption-ridden Aquino regime, which also offers the people’s coffers and national resources for plunder of foreign monopoly-capitalists, big local compradors and feudal landlords has no tenable and real solutions on the economic woes and suffering of the people. The GDP growth that the government brags does not indicate progress, and it is empty in the face of real poverty being suffered by majority of the people.
 

The US-Aquino regime implements PPP for mega-profits of big capitalist cronies, family and allies of Aquino, the dole-outs and corrupt-ridden CCT program,carries out the policies of borrowing and perennial indebtedness, of demolition of urban poor and landgrabbing from farmers, budget cuts for education and health while amassing peoples money to go to their pockets, as exemplified by the Pork Barrel controlled by Aquino himself.
 

The defiance of the people against these oppression is called simply as ‘violence’ by the US-Aquino regime and justifies its brutal Oplan Bayanihan. What the US-Aquino regime tauts as the ‘new approach’ to peace is nothing but all-out war of oppression and suppression of the people.
 

As the Filipino youth and people demand accountability from the plunderers and from US-Aquino regime of corruption, they also seek solutions to the historic problems of land monopoly and industrial backwardness as and the immediate needed respite from high-time economic hardship.


For so long as the government do not serve the people and remains as the tyranny of landlords, big compradors and imperialist interests, the Filipino youth and people will continously to rise up for revolutionary change! ###

 

     
     
March to Plaza Miranda
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     

 

Mindanao Lawmaker Calls for the Resumption of GPH-NDFP Peace Talks

Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Isagani Zarate “strongly reiterates the people’s call” for the resumption of the peace talks between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in time with the celebration of the 10th National Peace Consciousness month.

“The most concrete way of showing consciousness about peace is for the GPH and the NDFP to go back to the negotiating table and respect the previously signed agreements that served as the basis of the stalled talks,” said Zarate, particularly referring to the 21-year old Hague Joint Declaration that was signed by both parties on September 1, 1992. The Joint Hague Declaration outlined the scope and the four (4) sequential substantive agenda of the GPH-NDFP peace negotiations.

Zarate also expressed support for the peace caravan and rally initiated today by the inter-faith advocacy group Pilgrims for Peace and other civil society and people’s organizations pushing for the resumption of stalled talks.

“It is just unfortunate to note that the Aquino administration peace agenda is skewed and selective as reflected in President Aquino’s failure to even mention its progress during his recent State of the Nation Address (SONA),” said Zarate.

The GPH-NDFP negotiations hit a snag in February 2011 following the government’s failure to release political prisoners, particularly the detained NDFP consultants, which was an agreed confidence-building measure in the resumption of the talks.

Also charges of the continued violation by the government of the provisions of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) has also affected the resumption of the talks, Zarate said citing, the July 28 arrest of Ma. Loida Magpatoc, a JASIG-covered consultant from the NDFP Far South Mindanao Region.

On the other hand, Zarate also noted the need to “scrutinize” the performance of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP), particularly in the ongoing budget deliberations of the proposed 2014 national budget, where OPAPP is asking for a P351,547,000 budget. This OPAPP requested budget is on top of the P7 Billion PAMANA (PAyapa at MAsaganang PamayaNAn) Fund that it administers as part of the government’s peace and development program. ###

 

     
     
           
     
     
     

 

"Peace advocate groups nationwide call for resumption of GPH-NDFP peace talks on the basis of all bilateral agreements"


Joint Statement
July 6, 2013

TIME TO MOVE THE TALKS!

We, concerned peace advocates from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao earnestly call on the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) to immediately resume the stalled peace talks.

We view with deep concern the breakdown in the peace negotiations due to unresolved issues in both the regular and special tracks. The regular track which involves the formal talks on the substantive agenda has been on an impasse mainly over the release of detained NDFP consultants. The special track, which involves talks on a proposal for alliance and truce and is parallel and complementary to the regular track, is likewise stalled.

We believe that consistently honouring signed agreements builds on the trust imperative and the kind of peace architecture both Parties had mutually envisioned. Hence, we call for the immediate resumption of the formal peace talks in accordance with The Hague Joint Declaration and other bilateral agreements. The implementation of JASIG would provide conditions conducive to the resumption and continuation of the GPH-NDFP talks, specifically, safety and immunity guarantees for all those who participate in the talks, from either side. The full implementation of CARHRIHL and the reactivation of the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) will help mitigate the impact of the armed conflict, deter human rights violations, provide redress to the victims and end the climate of impunity.

We are aware of the pressing need for social and economic reforms, which is the second item in the substantive agenda of the peace talks, geared to addressing the continuing hardships of our people, especially the poor and the oppressed. It is incumbent on both Parties to immediately return to the negotiating table and work at reaching an agreement on these urgent reforms. The two Parties are therefore urged to find ways and to take measures to resolve the issue on the release of detained NDFP consultants and thus break the current impasse.

We likewise urge the GPH and NDFP to resume talks on the special track to explore immediate and practical areas of cooperation such as upholding national sovereignty, agrarian reform and national industrialization alongside the cessation of armed hostilities. We have confidence that simultaneous discussions on both tracks can mutually enhance the prospects of reaching constructive agreements.

We believe that the resumption of the peace talks between the GPH and NDFP will redound to immediate as well as long term benefits for our people. We therefore commit ourselves to accompany the peace negotiations and contribute to the discussions on the substantive agenda in both regular and special tracks. We shall continue to undertake and support all efforts towards the attainment of a just and enduring peace throughout the land.

Time is of the essence. End the prolonged impasse. Resume the talks, now.

Signatories:

Pilgrims for Peace
Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform (PEPP)
Sulong CARHRIHL
Waging Peace Philippines
Generation Peace Youth Network
Women Engaged in Action 1325
Initiatives for International Dialogue – IID
Philippine Peace Center

 

     
     
     
 
           
     
     
     

 

MINDANAO PEOPLES CAUCUS
Media Statement
June 4, 2013

RESUME THE TALKS, SIGN THE ANNEXES AND CERTIFY THE BANGSAMORO BASIC LAW AS PRIORITY LEGISLATION FOR 16th CONGRESS

It is worrisome to note that that up to now, there is still no schedule for the next round of peace talks between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. As stated in its 11 April 2013 Joint Statement, “the parties agreed to meet again after the 13 May 2013 Philippine elections” but did not mention a specific date for the next meeting. It is almost a month from the midterm elections but up to now, there is still no schedule for the formal resumption of talks. Given the very limited transition roadmap between now and 2016, any delay in the signing of the Annexes will cause irreversible consequences on the viability of the transition period itself.

As primary stakeholders of the peace process in Mindanao, the grassroots communities can only afford to rest once the parties have signed a comprehensive peace agreement. No amount of Sajahatra scholarships, skills trainings, livelihood, Philhealth cards, appointments to government positions and outpouring of donors funds could ever substitute for the urgent need to have a final deal on the Annexes. The Transition Commission cannot proceed with the drafting of the Basic Law until and unless the parties of the negotiations conclude the negotiations on the Annexes. Despite the euphoria, pompous jubilation and extravagant publicities on the FAB and the transition roadmap, it is evident that the framework agreement remains a framework and until and unless the peace panels will overcome the outstanding issues on the Annexes, the transition period cannot realistically proceed.

The results of the May 13, 2013 election which catapulted into power majority of the administration candidates speak resoundingly on the approval of the electorate on the peace program of President Aquino. This overwhelming vote for the administration is a confidence vote that should embolden the President to make hard decisions that will put to rest the lingering issues on how much power and wealth this government is willing and able to share with the Bangsamoro people.

With the midterm elections behind us, we urge the President Aquino to conclude the negotiations with the MILF by completing the Annexes and signing a comprehensive peace agreement before he delivers his upcoming State of the Nation Address (SONA) on 22 July 2013. We recommend and expect that during the SONA, the signing of the Annexes can already be reported as a major accomplishment of the Aquino administration and that he certifies that the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law should be a priority legislation for the 16th Congress of the Philippines.

We urge the peace panels to immediately schedule the next round of talks and focus all their energies, time and attention on the completion of the Annexes. This should be a priority and must be resolved at the soonest possible time. We also appeal to the peace panels to maintain openness, transparency and constant dialogue with all stakeholders of the peace process so that we can support one another in overcoming the remaining obstacles and challenges in the negotiations. (30)

 

     
     
           
Gathering and Program in Plaza Miranda
           
     
     
     

 

UN-accredited Intl Lawyers Call for Peace Talks Resumption, End to Impunity

Resolution Calling on the Philippine Government to Hold Rights Violators Accountable and to Continue Peace Negotiations


We, the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) herein representedby its governing Bureau in session and joined by fellow members firmly reiterate our call to the present Philippine government to hold past and present perpetrators of human rights violators accountable.

We particularly challenge it to do everything to immediately arrest and prosecute Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr. who is representative of the most horrendous abuses of human rights. The continued failure to hold him demonstrates the continuing impunity for extrajudicial killings, disappearances, torture and other violations.

We view these violations, including the continued detention of hundreds of political prisoners and the orchestrated filing of trumped-up charges against mass leaders and activists, also impact on the peace negotiations.

We call on the parties to resume the negotiations based on their previous agreements to earnestly, patiently and sincerely address and comprehensively resolve the underlying social, economic and political reasons for the armed conflict and resistance.

We moreover denounce the continuing open violation by the United States of the national sovereignty of the Filipino people through its intervention in various forms including unhampered military presence and effective basing and in exploiting the internal and regional conflicts to advance its imperialist interests.

We vow to ensure that the above issues conform to international standards of human rights and international humanitarian law in our common pursuit for justice, peace, democracy and the right to self-determination.

In this regard we call on our affiliates all over the world and our colleagues in the legal profession to undertake international legal actions and campaigns complementary to those being waged in the country.

May 27, 2013, Paris, France.

(Those who attended the Paris meeting include Jeanne Mirer (US), President, Mohammed Bentoumi (Alegria), Max Botswana (South Africa), Bill Bowring (UK), Evelyn Duremyer (Austria), Jan Fermon (Belgium), Augustin Kemadjou (Cameroon), Richard Harvey (UK), Vijender Jain (India), Mario Joseph (Haiti), Kerry McClaine (US), Fabio Marcelli (Italy), Sabah Al-Mukhtar (Iraq), Hassan Jouni (Lebanon), Walid Okais (France), Edre Olalia (Philippines), Carlos Orueja (UK), Micol Savia (Italy), Mohammed Tay (Lebanon), Le Min Than (Vietnam), Roland Weyl (France), Roberto Zamora (Costa Rica), and Omar Zen (Lebanon).)
(The IADL is a worldwide organization of democratic lawyers founded in 1946 . It has consultative status with the ECOSOC and UNESCO of the United Nations.)

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

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"By calling yourselves the ‘people’s lawyer,’ you have made a remarkable choice. You decided not to remain in the sidelines. Where human rights are assaulted, you have chosen to sacrifice the comfort of the fence for the dangers of the battlefield. But only those who choose to fight on the battlefield live beyond irrelevance.”

- Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno, in his message at the NUPL Founding Congress, September 15, 2007

"After long years of experience as a people’s lawyer, I can honestly say it has been a treasured journey of self-fulfillment and rewarding achievement. I know it will be the same for all others who choose to tread this path."

- Atty. Romeo T. Capulong, NUPL founding chairperson, in his
keynote address at the Fifth Conference of Lawyers in Asia
Pacific ( COLAP V), September 18, 2010

 

     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     

 

NEOLIBERALISM AND IMPERIALIST CRISIS:
IMPACT ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND PEACE
Keynote Speech at the International Conference
on Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines, July 19, 2013

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson
International League of Peoples’ Struggle

We, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, express our warmest greetings of solidarity to all the participants of the International Conference on Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines. We express special appreciation to those who earlier joined the International Solidarity Missions to various regions of the country in order to observe the human rights situation, interact with the people and report to this conference.

For their success in organizing this conference and the International Solidarity Missions, we congratulate the International Coordinating Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines, Karapatan (Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights) and the Ecumenical Voice for Human Rights and Peace (EcuVoice). Like the Peace for Life network, we are proud to have cooperated with them in promoting the said events and encouraging participation.

We support this conference as it aims to assess, analyze and evaluate the current state of human rights and peace in the Philippines, understand the roots of the problems of human rights violations and the civil war, seek solutions to these problems and arrive at unity on a plan of coordinated campaigns and actions to demand and help realize respect for human rights and attain a just peace.

As keynote speaker on the opening day of the conference, I wish to discuss the impact of neoliberalism and the crisis of global capitalism on human rights and peace in the world and in the Philippines in general terms. I am mindful of the fact that the keynote speaker tomorrow shall focus on the human rights situation in the Philippines and shall speak about it in greater detail.

I. Neoliberalism as Attack on Human Rights

The concept of neoliberalism or “new liberalism” was put forward in 1938 by a group of bourgeois intellectuals, which included Alexander Rustow, Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek. They defined it as upholding “the priority of the price mechanism, the free enterprise, the system of competition and a strong and impartial state.” And they presumed and misrepresented monopoly capitalism as the free competition capitalism that existed in most of the 19th century.

They adopted from Adam Smith the idea that the invisible hand of self-interest in the free market results in the common good. But they obscured or denied his idea that labor power is the creator of new material values and social wealth. They also believed that the economic freedom of the entrepreneurs spells political freedom for the entire society. In effect, they imposed the class interest of the monopoly bourgeoisie on the working class and the rest of the people.

They considered sacred and inviolable the right to private property in the means of production and put this at the core of the rule of law. They vigorously opposed state ownership of any means of production and state intervention in the economy. However, they considered the state as an instrument to provide the private capitalists with the means and opportunities for profit-making and capital accumulation , including the expansion of money supply and credit, tax cuts, contracts with the state, subsidies, investment guarantees and other incentives.

The concept of neoliberalism arose at the time of the Great Depression, when the crisis of overproduction in monopoly capitalism had given rise to fascism and the imminence of World War II. But the neoliberal intellectuals deliberately ignored the reality of monopoly capitalism and the class struggle between the big bourgeoisie and the working class. They took the supraclass petty bourgeois viewpoint of standing above and against both fascism and socialism and in effect made monopoly capitalism the golden mean.

In the aftermath of World World II, Friedrich Hayek (author of the notion that socialism is the “road to serfdom”) regrouped the neoliberal intellectuals and politicians. Together they became quite active in the anticommunist crusade during the Cold War but remained marginal relative to other bourgeois intellectual trends, until the US monopoly bourgeoisie adopted neoliberalism as the systematic way to scapegoat the unionized workers and the government, respectively, for wage inflation and for social spending as the cause of the phenomenon called stagflation.

Milton Friedman, who described himself as a monetarist and free marketeer, was the most prominent economist pushing for the adoption of neoliberalism as the official economic policy of US imperialism. He called for unfettered “free enterprise” and a self-regulating “free market” and for allowing the monopoly bourgeoisie a free hand to accelerate profit-making and capital accumulation. Together with the other neoliberals, he prescribed wage freezes and cutbacks on social spending as the solution to the problem of stagflation.

Friedman harped on the notion that solving the problems of stagnation and inflation and growing the economy was just a matter of manipulating the money supply and interest rates. He played the starring role in the academic and media campaign to attack Keynesian economics and to blame the working class for wage inflation and for supposedly unsustainable government social spending.

At the beginning of the 1980s, Ronald Reagan adopted the neoliberal economic policy in the US and Margaret Thatcher did likewise in the UK. This policy became known respectively as Reagonomics or supply-side economics and Thatcherism. While it blamed the working class and government social spending for stagflation, neoliberalism obscured and denied the real causes of stagflation, which were the worsening crisis of overproduction as a result of the reconstruction of Western Europe and Japan; and the rapid rise of US military expenditures due to stepped up military production, overseas deployment of US military forces and the wars of aggression in Korea and Indochina.

Reagan and Thatcher used neoliberalism to attack the working class and the rest of the people and violate their human rights. They and their successors in power have engaged in forcible executive actions and pushed legislation to press down the wage level, suppress the trade union and democratic rights of the working class and cut back on government social spending. They have reduced taxes on the corporations and individual members of the monopoly bourgeoisie and provided them with all the opportunities to make superprofits and accumulate capital.

They have carried out the flexibilization of labor or destruction of job security by replacing tenured jobs with temporary and part-time jobs; the liberalization of investment, trade and finance; the privatization of public assets; deregulation at the expense of the working class, women, children, the society at large and the environment; the denationalization of the economies of the underdeveloped countries; and the increase of overpriced contracts in war production and guarantees and subsidies for overseas investments.

The entire world capitalist system has followed the neoliberal economic policy set by the US and UK. Even the social democratic, bourgeois laborite and neorevisionist parties have succumbed to the neoliberal economic policy. This is given the fancy name of “free market” globalization. It is in fact imperialist globalization, allowing the imperialist firms and banks to do their utmost and worst in exploiting the working class in the imperialist countries and all the working people, especially in the underdeveloped countries.

Following the neoliberal policy dictates of their imperialist masters, the puppet states have treasonously surrendered political and economic sovereignty and natural resources to the imperialist powers under the signboard of globalization. In the case of the Philippines, the Marcos fascist dictatorship and succeeding pseudo-democratic regimes have escalated the exploitation of the workers and peasants. They have also escalated repression in a futile attempt to stop the rising resistance of the people.

In pursuing the neoliberal policy, they have engaged in gross and systematic violation of human rights. They have violated the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Convention on Civil and Political Rights, the UN Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and other related conventions. They have violated those human rights embedded in the Geneva Conventions, its protocols and related conventions under the rubric of International Humanitarian Law. They have wantonly violated the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, which has been mutually approved by the Manila government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippine in 1998.

The neoliberal economic policy has come to be known since 1989 as the Washington Consensus (coined by economist John Williamson) because it has been designed and enforced by the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and the US Treasury Department, joined by the World Trade Organization since the 1990s. The Washington Consensus imposes on the underdeveloped countries the following prescriptions supposedly for development: fiscal policy discipline, redirection of public spending away from industrial development and self-reliance, tax reform to benefit foreign investors at the expense of the people, market-determined interest rates, competitive exchange rates, import liberalization, investment liberalization, privatization of state enterprises, deregulation and legal security for property rights.

Under neoliberalism, otherwise known as market fundamentalism, the monopoly banks and firms accelerated superprofit-taking and accumulation of capital in the centers of global capitalism. As a result, the crisis of overproduction and overaccumulation by a few has recurred at a rapid and worsening rate. In a futile attempt to override the recurrent crisis of overproduction and the tendency of the profit rate to fall, the monopoly bourgeoisie has resorted to the tricks of finance capitalism and in the process has spawned a financial oligarchy with absurdly inflated financial assets.

But the repeated expansion of the money supply and credit, the creation of derivatives in astronomical amounts and the generation of one financial bubble after another in order to raise the profits and overvalue the assets of the monopoly bourgeoisie have resulted in recurrent and ever worsening crisis of overproduction. More than one hundred economic and financial crises of varying scales and severity have occurred in the world capitalist system in the last three decades of neoliberal economic policy to the increasing detriment of the working classes and the people worldwide.

The severest crisis has burst out since 2007. It is comparable to the Great Depression of the 1930s with far more destructive political and social concomitants and consequences for the entire world. It has generated state terrorism or fascism and furthered imperialist wars of aggression. It has exacerbated the suffering of the broad masses of the people under the terrible conditions of global depression and the intensification of exploitation, impoverishment, oppression and all kinds of degradation. The gross and systematic violation of human rights has spread on a global scale.

The imperialist powers and their puppet states have proven themselves futile at solving the ongoing supercrisis because they cling dogmatically to the neoliberal economic policy. They believe that so far in history this is the best policy adopted by the world capitalist system to give the monopoly bourgeoisie and the financial oligarchy the opportunity to rake in superprofits and accumulate capital. They wish to perpetuate this scourge to humankind. It is therefore the compelling duty of the people to fight against this policy and against the system that has imposed it on the people.

II. Imperialist Crisis Leads to Repression and Wars

The New Deal and Keynesian policy did not really solve the crisis of the world capitalist system, which took the form of the Great Depression and which led to World War II. State-led pump priming through public works to provide employment, and stimulate consumption failed to put the economy in equilibrium, with the recovery of production. It was war production that revived the US economy and enabled the US to become the most powerful economic and military power.

In the aftermath of World War II, the US emerged as the No. 1 imperialist power. It had ground for capital expansion because other capitalist powers had suffered economic devastation. Thus, it could maintain a high standard of living from 1945 to 1975. It continued to engage in war production and justified it by launching the Cold War against the socialist countries and national liberation movements. It maintained US military bases and forces abroad and supplied weapons to allied and puppet states under various regional and bilateral military alliances.

The US imperialists sought to encircle the socialist countries and engage in military intervention against national liberation movements and countries assertive of national independence. They instigated military coups and propped up military fascist dictatorships in Asia, Africa and Latin America. They perpetrated wars of aggression against the Korean people in the early 1950s and against the Vietnamese and other Indochinese peoples from the 1960s to the 1970s.

Using aggressor troops and weapons of mass destruction, the US imperialists perpetrated the most massive and the most brutal violations of human rights.. They perpetrated massacres of genocidal proportions, at least three million people in Korea and at least four million people in Vietnam. Through direct aggression and proxy wars, they also massacred people in various countries. They used puppet fascist regimes to massacre people in large numbers. The most infamous case was the massacre of three million Indonesians by the US-directed military fascist dictatorship of Suharto. To this day, justice has not been rendered to the victims and their families. The US has persisted in carrying out so-called secret wars that have murdered more than six million people.

In the 1970s, the problem of stagflation beset the US economy. It was due to the rapid capital expansion of countries previously devastated during World War II and the ever rising costs of the arms race with the Soviet Union, the space and military research and production, the deployment of US military forces abroad and the wars of aggression. But the US imperialists put the blame on the working class for supposed wage inflation and on social spending by government.

After adopting the neoliberal economic policy at the start of the 1980s, the Reagan administration proceeded to speed up the production of high-tech military weaponry and continued to give market accommodation to the manufactured exports of Japan, Europe and the so-called newly-industrializing countries. Towards the end of the 1980s, the US had become the No.1 debtor in the world and had undermined its manufacturing capacity in tradeable goods.

It was gleeful over the social turmoil in China, the fall of revisionist regimes in Eastern Europe and the collapse of the Soviet Union in the years of 1989 to 1991. It spread the notion that the end of the Cold War would result in peace dividends for the US and humankind. But since then the opposite has occurred. War expenditures and wars of aggression have increased at a rapid rate.

Driven by hubris as the sole superpower and being able to use the NATO at will, the US has unleashed wars of aggression in the Middle East, the Balkans and Central Asia in order to take advantage of the collapse of the Soviet Union, bring down recalcitrant regimes like those of Saddam and Milosevic and tighten control over the sources and supply lines of oil and gas. The US and the NATO have instigated and supported schemes to overthrow regimes like those of Qaddafi in Libya and Assad in Syria and to further manipulate the situation in the Middle East for the benefit of the US and Israel at the expense of the Palestinian and Arab peoples.

Within the UN Security Council and the multilateral agencies like the IMF, World Bank and WTO, the imperialist powers collude against the proletariat in their own home grounds and against the oppressed peoples and nations in the underdeveloped countries. But as the crisis of the world capitalist system worsens, they tend to contend with each other and engage in alignments and realignments of varying scales. For extended periods, the US has collaborated with China and Russia under the auspices of neoliberal economic policy. But it is now confronted with increasingly independent initiatives of the latter two countries jointly or separately.

The US is most reliant on its major allies in the European Union and Japan in economic matters and on the NATO in security matters. China and Russia are promoting their own economic bloc, together with Brazil, India and South Africa in the BRICS. They have also initiated the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and have consolidated their bilateral partnership in matters concerning security and energy.

The US is concerned that its close partnership with China might erode as the crisis of global capitalism worsens and as China takes initiatives independent of the US. Despite its deep involvement in other parts of the world, it has made a pivot or strategic shift to East Asia and emphatically in the direction of influencing developments within China. Using the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, the US is putting increased pressure on China to privatize its state-owned enterprises. It also encouraging the pro-US democracy movement to counter and challenge the nationalist position of the top leaders of the state and ruling party who still wave the Red flag to legitimize their rule.

In its drive for increased military presence in East Asia, the US is maneuvering to further entrench itself in the Philippines economically, politically and militarily. It is engaged in actions that violate the national sovereignty of the people and the territorial integrity of the country. It is stepping up its efforts to violate economic sovereignty and do away with the nationality restrictions in order to grab the national patrimony of the Filipino people and exploit the natural resources and other business opportunities. Worst of all, it is complicit with the reactionary puppet regime in unleashing military campaigns of suppression and in perpetrating human rights violations on a wide scale.

III. Impact on Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines

The neoliberal economic policy of imperialist globalization is a vicious attack on the national sovereignty of the Filipino people and on the full range of their human rights as a people, including the working class, peasantry, indigenous people, the intelligentsia, women, youth, children and others. The US has imposed the neoliberal policy on the Philippine client state to negate its political sovereignty and denationalize its economy..

The main thrust of the policy is to denationalize the economy and further make it a captive of the US and other imperialist powers. At the same time, it is a sweeping attack on the national and democratic rights of the people. It runs counter to the people’s struggle and aspirations for national independence, democracy, development through land reform and national industrialization and a patriotic and progressive culture and solidarity with other peoples.

The neoliberal economic policy has resulted in the sell-out of the national patrimony and the removal or drastic erosion of all nationality restrictions on foreign monopoly capitalism in the exploitation of natural resources and in the operation of businesses. It has allowed the plunder of the forest, mineral, marine and other natural resources of the country by foreign monopoly capitalists and by the bureaucrat big comprador-landlords. It has ruined the agricultural production of domestic food staples in favor of foreign-owned plantations for the export of fruit as well as for biofuel production.

It has displaced the peasants and the indigenous people, with the use of bulldozers and military and police forces. It has aggravated landlessness among the tillers. It has lessened the land area for local food production and land reform. Widespread and unlimited mining involves the export and permanent loss of nonrenewable resources and the frustration of the people’s aspiration for national industrialization. The frenzied plunder of natural resources is ruining the environment on a wide scale, poisoning the rivers and marine life and causing soil erosion, destructive floods, landslides and drought.

The neoliberal economic policy dictates the extreme plunder of human resources and violation of human rights. It has pushed the contractualization and flexibilization of labor by eliminating job tenure, forcing the workers to accept the status of temporaries and part-timers. The objective is to press down the wage level, deprive the workers of social benefits and further impoverish them to allow the superprofit taking of multinational firms and big compradors. To accomplish this objective, the foreign and domestic exploiters suppress and violate the right of the workers to form unions and all other basic democratic rights.

The neoliberal economic policy has had the effect of aggravating and deepening the pre-industrial and semifeudal character of the economy. The economy is agrarian and yet does not produce enough food for itself because of dumping by other countries, smuggling and reduction of agricultural land. Even then, it remains dependent mainly on raw material production for export. The semi-manufacturing or reassembly of semiconductors and other electronic products for reexport yields little income because it has high import content and is low-value added.

In more than three decades, the export of cheap labor has grown and has become the biggest source of foreign exchange income. But the total of all export incomes do not offset the high costs of imports. The trade deficit and foreign debt have mounted from year to year. The total export income always falls below the superprofit remittances of the multinational firms, the stashing away of foreign exchange by high bureaucrats and big comprador-landlords, the luxury imports, the high cost of high rise buildings and the imports of fuel, food and other basic necessities.

The reexport of electronic components and other low value-added semimanufactures has drastically fallen because of the crisis of global capitalism. The export of cheap labor has begun to decrease as a result of the crisis and reactionary current against migrant workers, especially in capitalist countries. The Aquino reactionary regime still hopes that it can continue to conjure the illusion of economic growth by relying on portfolio investments in the stock market, business call centers, casinos, the mining operations all over the country and private and public construction dependent on foreign loans.

To enable the multinational banks and firms and the local ruling class of big compradors and landlords to exploit the broad masses of the people and violate their economic, social and cultural rights, the reactionary regime uses the coercive apparatuses of the state to discourage and suppress even lawful petitions and protests, especially those of the militant legal mass movement. And of course it uses the full force of reactionary power, with the support of foreign interventionist forces against the armed revolutionary movement of the people. In the process, it violates the civil and political rights of the broad masses of the people, exploited classes, organizations and individuals.

It is not true that democracy has been restored in the Philippines after the fall of the Marcos fascist dictatorship. What has been restored is the illusion of democracy still under the auspices of the same imperialist power and the same exploiting classes that the Marcos fascist dictatorship served through an open rule of terror. Behind the facade of democracy, one antinational and antidemocratic regime after another has followed the Marcos fascist regime.

Every reactionary regime has been directed by US imperialism to run a surveillance state and to carry out campaigns of military suppression to seek not only the destruction of the armed revolutionary forces but also the intimidation of the broad masses of the people. The surveillance state in the Philippines is part of the global system of surveillance run by the US. The Filipino defenders of human rights can very well present and denounce the human rights violations. They deserve the highest appreciation, protection and support for exposing these violations on a national scale as well as on an international scale.

Every regime has engaged in gross and systematic violations of human rights. These include enforced disappearances or abductions, illegal open arrests and detention on trumped up charges of common crimes, torture, selective murders and massacres, demolition of homes and eviction of the urban poor to make way for the real estate corporations, the forced evacuation of peasants and the indigenous people to make way for mining companies, export-oriented plantations, so-called special economic zones and free ports” and other forms of land grabbing; destruction of sources of livelihood, and other forms of deprivation such us the military occupation of school premises and community centers in the course of so-called counterinsurgency campaigns, such as the current Oplan Bayanihan.

Even as they are determined to accomplish the new democratic revolution through people’s war, the revolutionary forces and the people led by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) have agreed to engage in peace negotiations with the reactionary Manila government (GRP) and have authorized the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) to form a negotiating panel for the purpose. Despite the obstacles imposed by the GRP side, the NDFP and the GRP succeeded in forging ten major agreements from 1992 to 1998, a period of only six years.

The Hague Joint Declaration defines the framework of the peace negotiations. It sets the objective of addressing the roots of the armed conflict through negotiations and comprehensive agreements on social, economic and political reforms. It declares national sovereignty, democracy and social justice as the mutually acceptable guiding principles. It makes the assurance that no side shall impose on the other any precondition that negates the character and purpose of peace negotiations.

The substantive agenda is set in sequence: respect for human rights and international humanitarian law, social and economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms and end of hostilities. The method for producing the comprehensive agreement on each item is clearly provided. Reciprocal working committees prepare the draft agreements, whichthe negotiating panels polish and finalize for the approval of the GRP and NDFP principals.

The mutual approval of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law was a resounding success in 1998. Before this, important agreements to strengthen and smoothen the negotiation process were bilaterally approved. These included the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), the Joint Agreement on the Formation, Sequence and Operationalization of the Reciprocal Working Committees, the Ground Rules for the Meetings of the Negotiating Panels and the Joint Agreement in Support of Socio-Economic Projects of Private Development Organizations and Institutes.

But the hand of US imperialism became increasingly obvious in fouling up the peace negotiations from one regime to another. The Estrada regime resented the NDFP objection to the US-RP Visiting Forces Agreement. It reacted by terminating the JASIG and the peace negotiations in 1999. The Arroyo regime initially appeared to be enthusiastic in resuming the peace negotiations with the NDFP in the first half of 2001. However, the regime aligned itself with the so-called war on terror policy of the US, received orders to adopt and implementthe so-called counter-insurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya and made representations to the US, European and other foreign governments to designate the CPP, NPA and the NDFP chief political consultant as terrorists in a malicious attempt to blackmail the NDFP towards capitulation and pacification.

Until its term ended, the Arroyo ruling clique paralyzed the peace negotiations by insisting that the US and other foreign governments had the “sovereign right” to make judgments and undertake sanctions against Philippine entities for alleged criminal acts within Philippine territory. In late 2010, the succeeding regime of Benigno S. Aquino III re-appointed as presidential adviser on the peace process the same Arroyo factotum who had been most vociferous in espousing the supposed right of the US to intervene in Philippine affairs.

The first formal meeting of the negotiating panels of the Aquino regime and the NDFP in Oslo in February 2011 became the occasion for the regime to attack The Hague Joint Declaration as a “document of perpetual division” and to misrepresent as precondition the NDFP demand for compliance with the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees. At that time it became clear that the Aquino regime was not really interested in peace negotiations.

Nonetheless, the NDFP reiterated the offer of truce and alliance previously made to the Arroyo regime in 2005 in order to counter the repeated GRP demand for an indefinite ceasefire. The offer was premised on forging first a general declaration of common intent to realize national independence and democracy. The GRP demand for indefinite ceasefire had long been intended to effect the capitulation and pacification of the people’s armed revolution and put aside the remaining three items in the substantive agenda of the peace negotiations.

Since April this year the Aquino regime has announced that it has terminated the peace negotiations with the NDFP and is undertaking a “new approach”. Obviously the approach is for the regime to ignore the NDFP Negotiating Panel; scrap all previous agreements between the two sides; and rely on brute military force under Oplan Bayanihan in a futile scheme to destroy the revolutionary movement. The Aquino regime calculates that its so-called internal security and peace plan is going to be effective because of its psywar pseudo-development component, which involves dole outs from the graft-ridden Conditional Cash Transfer and PAMANA funds and the staging of fake localized negotiations and fake mass surrenders.

Behind the all-out war policy of the Aquino regime against the revolutionary movement are orders from the US to carry out Oplan Bayanihan within the context of the US pivot or strategic shift to East Asia. The US wishes to tighten its control over the Philippines and use it to realize its strategic objective vis a vis China. It is now putting pressure on China to make further economic and political liberalization and is encouraging the pro-US elements within the bureaucracy of the Chinese state and ruling party to gain initiative over the bourgeois nationalists who are still waving the Red flag as a way of legitimation.

The US is hell-bent on further entrenching itself in the Philippines and making the Philippine reactionary government more than ever dependent on US military power. In connection with Oplan Bayanihan,it is goading the Aquino regime to engage in provocations and counterprovocations vis a vis China over the sea west of the Philippines. In this context, we can understand why the Aquino regime has terminated the peace negotiations and we can anticipate the escalation of counterrevolutionary violence and human rights violations.

Concluding Remarks

We, the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, wish you the utmost success in identifying, examining and analyzing the social, economic and political and geopolitical context of escalating violations of collective and individual human rights in the Philippines. Your conference is a means of concentrating your political will and deciding what you must do. We look forward to the General Declaration and Resolutions of your conference.

You must uphold the rights of peoples to national self-determination and liberation in the face of the economic, political and social crises due to neoliberal globalization and the drive of the US to maintain global hegemony. You must defend and promote the economic, social and cultural rights and the civil and political rights of the people against the intensification of exploitation and oppression by the US and the local exploiting classes.

You must define and stress the anti-imperialist and democratic common grounds for the Filipino people and the people of the world in confronting the forces that violate human rights and in striving to develop, expand and consolidate the movement of international solidarity for upholding, defending and advancing human rights and people’s rights and for promoting and realizing a just peace in the Philippines.

We look forward to the holding of the first general assembly of the International Coordinating Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines. We are confident that the results of this assembly will encourage the conference participants to join the international network for promoting and supporting the cause of human rights and just peace in the Philippines.

You must assess and evaluate the various domestic and international human rights solidarity campaigns concerning the Philippines since the fall of the Marcos dictatorship. Thus, you will be able to draw up a plan for an international solidarity campaign for peace, human rights and people’s rights in the Philippines. We look forward to your campaign plan . And we hope that such campaign will culminate in the next international conference in 2016, the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Marcos dictatorship.

The International League of Peoples’ Struggle is ever willing and ever ready to cooperate with you in all initiatives to uphold, defend and promote human rights and help realize a just peace in the Philippines and in the whole world.

Thank you.###

 

     
 
 
 
 
 
     
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
     
     
     
     
     
     
           
     
     
     

 

 

Press Release
September 2, 2013

200 Asia-Pacific Youth Leaders calls for the Resumption of GPH-NDFP Peace Talks

The delegation of the Asia-Pacific Students and Youth Gathering (ASYG) 2013 is one with the people’s movement calling for the resumption of peace talks between the GPH and the NDFP. Today, as we commemorate the historic signing of The Hague Joint Declaration of 1992, we have a prophetic call to urge both parties to uphold this declaration as this is fundamental in addressing the roots of armed conflict in the country on the basis of a just and lasting peace.

As a regional network that works for peace and justice, it is our ardent desire to break the chain of poverty and the cycle of oppressive system. Honouring the previous joint declarations and agreements, The Hague Joint Declaration will give credence to a peace agreement between the GPH and NDFP. The Hague Declaration is very significant for it stipulates substantive agenda that will address socio-economic reforms in the country. For the past days of ASYG, we have heard enough about the Philippine national situation characterized by worsening poverty, widening gap between the rich and the poor vis-a-vis the culture of corruption that is embedded in the government system. In the communities visited in Metro Manila: workers, women, farmers, urban poor, our muslim sisters and brothers, and migrants, we have seen and heard their cries to be alleviated from deep widening poverty, from marginalization, oppression and hunger. We express our solidarity with the people, and prayerfully and actively join them in their quest for genuine peace that is based on justice.

The ASYG 2013 is currently held at Bukal ng Tipan Maryhill Retreat House, Km. 22, Road to Antipolo, Taytay Rizal, from August 30 to September 4, 2013. The participants come from: Hongkong, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Korea, Pakistan, Nepal, East Timor, Thailand, Taiwan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Japan, Papua New Guinea, Myanmar, Philippines, Lebanon, New Zealand and many others who are expected to speak about the peace situation of the Philippines once they get back to their country.

ASYG is being organized by the Ecumenical Asia Pacific Student and Youth Network (EASY Net), a regional network comprising of seven (7) organizations: Asia Pacific Alliance of YMCA (APA-YMCA), Christian Conference of Asia (CCA), International Movement of Catholic Students (IMCS), World Student Christian Federation Asia-Pacific (WSCF), World-Young Women Christian Association (World-YWCA), International Young Catholic Students (IYCS) and the International Young Christian Workers (IYCW). The delegation are also joined by a significant amount of participants coming from Hongkong Christian Council, Hongkong Christian Institute and Communion of Churches in Indonesia.

“Let justice roll down like a river, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” Amos 5:24

References:
Kasta Dip
Regional Coordinator
Ecumenical Asia Pacific Students and Youth Network
+63.922.380.30.81

Ismael T. Fisco, Jr.
Chairperson
Kalipunan ng Kristyanong Kabataan sa Pilipinas
+63.917.847.6235

 

 

     
     
     
           
     
     
     

 

 

Alan Jazmines
Consultant
NDFP National Democratic Front of the Philippines

September 01, 2013

Alan Jazmines
NDFP peace consultant
detained at the
Special intensive Care Area,
Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and various local and international organizations pushing for the peace process have intently been pressing on with their efforts towards genuine, lasting peace through the attainment of mutual agreements, fundamental socio-economic and political-constitutional changes, and serious end to hostilities.

The Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH) – - in particular, as of late on the part of the present Aquino regime – - has, on the contrary, treacherously been continuing with its belittling and grave disregard of (to the extent of intently trampling upon) agreements already made from the onset and through the course of the NDFP-GPH peace talks.

This, even in the case of agreements quite crucial to the continuation and progress of the peace process, such as the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG). The CARHRIHL is supposed to ensure the respect and protection on both sides in the ongoing civil strife in the country. The JASIG is supposed to ensure that peace consultants and staffs of both sides are protected from surveillance, arrest, detention, prosecution and other antagonistic acts that would violate their rights as well as deter their effective participation and work in the peace process.

Yet, the military, paramilitary, police and intelligence forces of the GPH have without let-up been surveilling, arresting, detaining, swamping with trumped-up criminal charges and violating the human, legal and other rights of NDFP peace consultants and other JASIG-protected NDFP forces the GPH forces can lay their hands on.

The latest NDFP peace consultant who has been subjected to such traitorous acts of the GPH forces has been Ma. Loida Magpatoc, an NDFP peace consultant representing the NDFP in Far South Mindanao.

Magpatoc is 52 years old, married and a “Lola” to five grandchildren.

Despite her being JASIG-protected, a P500,000.00 reward was put up by the Armed Forces of the Philippines for her capture.

In performance of her work as an NDFP peace consultant, Magpatoc had been immersing and consulting with the local community folk in the barangays of Far South Mindanao in regard to land, production and other socio-economic and political issues, when the 1002nd Brigade (1002ND Bde) of the 10th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army (10th ID PA) got wind of her presence in Brgy. Zone III, Digos, Davao del Sur and came to arrest her as early as 4am last July 28.

The entire local community, however, immediately learned of the situation and came out en masse to protect her and block the 1002nd Bde. Magpatoc presented her JASIG Document of Information to the 1002nd Bde and claimed her protection from arrest. But the 1002nd Bde only confiscated her JASIG document, ignored her claim for protection from arrest, and insisted on proceeding to arrest her. The barangay folk, who were surrounding her, refused to let the 1002nd Bde forces take her, as the former were apprehensive that the latter would only commit foul deeds against her. Magpatoc and the barangay folk asked if there was a warrant for her arrest, but the 1002nd Bde forces were not able to present any.

The arrest was eventually made, however, when the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Davao del Sur came later in the day to take her, this time armed with warrant of arrest (based on trumped-up criminal charges of “robbery,” “damage to properties” and “double homicide”), and bring her to their Digos headquarters. From there, she was flown on August 4 to Metro Manila and brought for confinement at the Taguig City Jail Female Dormitory in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City.

After her arrest, the reward for Ma. Loida Magpatoc’s capture by the AFP, suddenly became P5.6 million.

Alan Jazmines
NDFP peace consultant
detained at the
Special intensive Care Area,
Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City
02 September 2013
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 BONUS TRACKS
PEACE AND JUSTIC NOW!
A gathering of 200 students and youth leaders of Asia and the Pacific
     
     

 

           


200 students and youth leaders in Asia and Pacific are now gathered for the Asia-Pacific Students and Youth Gathering (ASYG) here in the Philippines, at Bukal ng Tipan Maryhill Retreat House, Km 22, Road to Antipolo, Taytay, Rizal. The activity started on the evening of 30th August and will culminate on the 4th of September.

Bearing the theme “Peace and Justice Now!”, the activity will include discussions on Philippine National Situation, Asian stories of peace, exposition on the theme, and public declaration of the ASYG 2013 statement. Thematic workshops on education and student’s rights, gender justice, economic justice and migration, interfaith, human rights and environment will also enhance the participants’ learning. Exposures to selected communities in Manila and nearby municipalities will also be conducted to provide a common experience and grounding to all participants- the struggle in establishing peace and justice in the Philippines. Furthermore, ASYG is also about celebration of our youthfulness, the richness and diversity of Asia and Pacific culture, tradition, struggles and spirituality.

Participants come from Asia-Pacific countries including Hongkong, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Korea, Pakistan, Nepal, East Timor, Thailand, Taiwan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Japan, Papua New Guinea, Myanmar, Philippines, Lebanon, and other parts of the world such as New Zealand and many others to build their perspectives on justice and recommit themselves to be peacemakers.
 


The activity is organized by the Ecumenical Asia-Pacific Students and Youth Network (EASY Net), a regional voluntary network of seven (7) organizations: Asia Pacific Alliance of YMCA (APA-YMCA), Christian Conference of Asia (CCA), International Movement of Catholic Students (IMCS), World Student Christian Federation Asia-Pacific (WSCF), World-Young Women Christian Association (World-YWCA), International Young Catholic Students (IYCS) and the International Young Christian Workers (IYCW).


References:

Kasta Dip
Regional Coordinator
Ecumenical Asia Pacific Students and Youth Network
+63.922.380.30.81

Ismael Fisco, Jr.
Chairperson
Kalipunan ng Kristyanong Kabataan sa Pilipinas
+63.917.847.6235

 

           
     
     
     

 

           
     

Press Release
August 31, 2013

Asia-Pacific Youth Leaders to Visit Various Communities in Metro Manila to see Results of Widespread Poverty in the Country

The delegates of the ASYG 2013 will go of the session hall to get in touch with social realities in the Philippines through a community exposure in Rizal, Paranaque, Marikina, Sta. Mesa and other parts of Metro Manila on September 1 until early morning of September 2. This activity is expected to reveal the results of worsening poverty in the country brought about by government irregularities, gross neglect and national corruption such as the Pork Barrel Scam.

Among these communities that participants will visit include: Mascap Rodiguez, Manggahan Laiban Tanay, and Panusugin San Jose in Rizal, Freedom Island at Paranaque, UCCP Tondo Smokey Mountain 2 and Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Sta. Mesa Manila. They will stay overnight with host families.

On morning of September 2, the participants will join in the Gathering and Caravan for Peace at Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City. The Caravan is a church-led activity to commemorate the signing of The Hague Joint Declaration of 1992. The activity calls on the resumption of the peace talks and adherence to the previously signed bilateral joint declarations between the NDFP and the GPH. The participants felt the need to be in this public mobilization anchored with the ASYG theme: “Peace and Justice Now!”

After which, the delegation will go back to the ASYG venue to continue with the gathering. This international event is currently being held at Bukal ng Tipan Maryhill Retreat House, Km 22, Road to Antipolo, Taytay, Rizal and is attended by hundreds of young people coming from various church organizations across Asia-Pacific.

References:
Kasta Dip
Regional Coordinator
Ecumenical Asia Pacific Students and Youth Network
+63.922.380.30.81

Ismael Fisco, Jr.
Chairperson
Kalipunan ng Kristyanong Kabataan sa Pilipinas
+63.917.847.6235

 

     
           
           
           
           

 

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