Category Archives: peace talks

CBCP asked to back resumption of talks

By Gerry Albert Corpuz and Trinity Biglang Awa

MANILA, Philippines -The activist fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Friday urged the influential Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to support the resumption of peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the communist led-National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

In a press statement, Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said the 117 archbishops and bishops of CBCP are morally and spiritually obliged to support the resumption of the talks between the GRP and NDFP and mobilize all its the justice and peace desks to provide healthy political and moral atmosphere to the talks.

“In the name of our people’s collective and national interest, we appeal to CBCP to strongly endorse and support the resumption of peace talks between the government and the NDFP. The Roman Catholic community has a stake in the peace talks and therefore it is morally and politically proper for the bishops and archbishops to express interest and perform collective action for the resumption of the talks,” said Hicap.

However, the Pamalakaya leader said the CBCP must be extra vigilant on President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and other hardline militarists in Aquino administration because they always wanted to sabotage the talks and prefer the military and total war approach in rooting out the cause of armed conflict in the country

“While President Aquino is churning press releases after press releases regarding his intention to resume the talks with the NDFP, the 50-year old President is doing the exact opposite. President Aquino is sabotaging the peace talks by imposing ceasefire and in bizarre and blatant mode rejected the call to drop the terrorist tag on CPP-NPA-NDFP,” stressed Hicap.

“The resumption of peace talks again will depend on the political attitude and mindset of the Aquino administration, and given the last visit of Aquino the United States where he was able to get $ 434 million counter-insurgency aid and the 89 percent increase in the defense budget for 2011, the government is gearing for another episode of all-out war and the resumption of peace talks is more a political double talk,” the Pamalakaya official added.

Pamalakaya said the CBCP should convince the Aquino administration should proceed with confidence building measures like the unconditional and immediate release of more than 400 political prisoners, including the 43 health workers known as Morong 43, the dropping of criminal charges against political activists.

The gorup said the CBCP should also persuade the Aquino government to work hard for the removal of CPP-NPA in the terror list of the United States, European Union and New Zealand, uphold the Joint Hague Declaration as the main frame work for the peace talks and recognize 16 other bilateral agreements reached from 1992 to 2004.

“The CBCP should actively work for the removal of all legal and political obstacles to the resumption of the talks. We believe that’s their calling as far as the resumption of peace talks is concerned, nothing more, nothing less,” the militant group said.

At a Palace briefing yesterday, President Aquino’s adviser on the peace process, Teresita Deles, announced that the government had reconstituted its panel for the resumption of talks with the NDFP. The government panel will be led by Health undersecretary Alexander Padilla, a known human rights lawyer, peace advocates Atty. Pablito Sanidad of Baguio City, Ednar Dayanghirang of Davao Oriental, Lourdes Tison of Negros Occidental and Jurgette Honculada of Zamboanga.

Deles indicated that the government would no longer demand for a ceasefire with CPP and the NPA, however she admitted that President Aquino cannot do anything with terrorist tag the against the communist guerillas labeled by the US government and the European Union.But Pamalakaya said the first thing the Aquino government should do is to announce to the Filipino people and the international community that the CPP, the NPA and the NDFP are not terrorist groups but belligerent forces engaged in civil war with the GRP and its armed forces.

“It is not tough task to follow. That is easy as ABC because the Aquino government will just tell the truth and that would help in the campaign to remove the CPP-NPA-NDFP in the list of foreign terrorist organizations of the US and the European Union. Ms Deles is missing the point,” the group added. Pamalakaya said it wants the peace talks to resume so that both panels could thoroughly discussed the implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Law (CARHRIHL).

The group said the talks should proceed with the second substantive agenda which is the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio Economic Reform (CASER) in which a number of issues on agrarian, agriculture and fisheries would be discussed which are deemed helpful in uplifting the poor conditions of farmers, fishermen and other rural people all over the country.

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Rebel priest says US aid meant for war

By Gerry Albert Corpuz, http://www.allvoices.com MANILA, Philippines-

Rebel priest Fr. Santiago Salas, spokesperson on the communist led_national Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in Eastern Visayas said the $ 200 million US Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) grant will bring militarization and human rights violations and not genuine development in the highly militarized island in Eastern Philippines.

Fr. Salas tagged 8th Infantry Division chief Gen. Mario Chan a barefaced liar for denying the sinister agenda of US funded projects currently undertaken in Samar as part of the counter-insurgency program of administration of Philippine President Benigno Simeon Aquino III and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) under the extended Oplan Bantay Laya.

“It is sheer duplicity for Gen. Chan to deny Samar’s militarization,” the NDFP-Eastern Visayas spokesperson said in a press statement, a copy of which was sent to http://www.allvoices.com. Salas added: “Victims of human rights violations have publicly denounced widepread and extended military operations since August in Jiabong, Motiong, San Jorge, Catbalogan, Gandara, Paranas, San Jose de Buan and Matuguinao in Western Samar, as well as several adjacent towns in Northern and Eastern Samar.

The rebel priest said it only shows the Aquino government is enamored with the militarist solution and Gen. Chan is implementing this by militarizing Samar.He said is already clear the present government is dragging its feet in the peace process with the NDFP, extending the widely condemned (national security program) Oplan Bantay Laya until January 2011, and carrying out the US Counterinsurgency Guide in plotting its own counterrevolutionary war.

Anti-development?

The NDFP-EV spokesperson also rebuked Gen. Chan for maliciously accusing the revolutionary movement of being against development in opposing the US-funded Samar Road project.

“Without basic socio-economic reforms, the MCC project will be a mere publicity and psywar gimmick to glamorize the Aquino government and to justify militarization in the name of securing this project,” Fr. Salas said. The NDFP-Eastern Visayas maintains that to assure genuine economic development, land reform and national industrialization are needed.

But Samar reflects the backwardness and imbalance under semifeudalism in Eastern Visayas.The democratic front argued the crops planted do not benefit the people and over 60% goes to commercial crops for export such as coconut and abaca, while less than 20% is left for rice and other basic foodstuffs.The agricultural conditions are also dire in Eastern Visayas with the number of irrigated rice fields is drastically declining, farmlands continue to be divided into smaller and less productive parcels, and the use of agricultural machinery or even farm animals is woefully inadequate.

“Such is the explosive situation where the peasants are becoming increasingly landless, desperate and hungry,” the NDFP-EV added.Meanwhile, other economic activities such as mining and logging have not resulted in industrialization but the plunder of the island’s rich natural resources as raw materials for export.”Thus it is Gen. Chan who is against development, for pushing a project that will not solve the island’s economic ills, but will hasten the exploitation and oppression of the people,” the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-led NDFP-EV added.

Bureaucratic loot

The NDFP-EV likewise charged Gen. Chan of hustling for the US-funded project in his greed to ensure his share from the bureaucratic loot.

“The NDFP-EV is aware that civilian contractors in Samar have been complaining in recent years that they are being muscled out by the 8th ID in construction projects,” it said. ” High-ranking military officials not only back certain contractors to share the kickbacks, but also use the army engineering battalions to grab corruption-tainted projects that should have been done by the civilian government,” the NDFP-EV asserted.
“Isn’t it strange otherwise why Gen. Mario Chan makes vulgar demands to the local government to rush the US-funded project, when he is out of line in doing so, as a military official who should be subordinate to civilian authority?” it asked.

Oppose MCC in EV

The NDFP-EV spokesperson called on the people to express their grievances and expose the real situation in opposing the US Millennium Challenge Corporation project.

“We call on the peasantry and the people to press the demands for land reform and national industrialization against a grandiloquent but deceptive project. We call on the Church and the human rights and peace activists to expose and oppose the ‘counterinsurgency’ scheme behind the MCC project based on the US COIN Guide,” Salas said. The NDFP spokesperson also rallied anti-corruption activists to study and criticize the US-funded project that will surely be undertaken by the same thieves responsible for the neglected state of Samar’s roads and other public works.

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Philippine guerillas deny using children in war

By Gerry Albert Corpuz in Manila and Billy Javier Reyes in Tacloban City

MANILA, Philippines- The communist led National Democratic Front of the Philippines in Eastern Visayas (NDFP-Eastern Visayas on Thursday issued a categorical statement denying accusations by the Philippine military that the Maoist guerillas waging a 40-year old people’s protracted war against the Manila government were abusing children to advance their revolutionary cause.

In a press statement sent to http://www.allvoices.com, NDFP-Eastern Samar spokesperson Fr. Santiago Salas said it is the Armed Foces of the Philippines (AFP) which has concrete cases of abusing children in situations of armed conflict in the Philippines.

Fr. Salas said he issued the statement to correct the malicious news in a national daily which mistated the facts of a United Nations report, making it appear that the communist guerillas were using child combatants, though it was never said so.

“In the said UN report, it is in fact the AFP that is cited for documented cases of abusing children in situations of armed conflict. The NDFP-Eastern Visayas can further shed light on the matter because the 8th Infantry Division has
well-publicized cases on the matter in Eastern Visayas,” Salas stressed.

Fr. Salas said that the Government of the Republic of the Philippines
continues to keep 17-year-old Michelle Adelantar in custody through
the Department of Social Welfare and Development after her illegal
arrest and detention by the 8th Infrantry Division of the Philippine
Army.

“Michelle was abducted and detained last February 3 in San Jose de
Buan, Western Samar by the 34th Infantry Battalion, merely because she
was the child of members of the Communist Party of the Philippines and
the New People’s Army. She still remains in DSWD custody with the
complicity of the 8th ID even though she has civilian relatives who
are ready and willing to take her in and have in fact long demanded
her release,” the NDFP said.

NDFP-Visayas said Col. Armand Rico, 8th ID spokesperson, recently stated over the 8th ID radio program he handles, the reason why the military wants
Michelle detained.

‘Her parents are NPA members, her siblings are NPA members.’ This is unjust, illegitimate, arrogant and mean. This, as well as other statements by Col. Rico, serve as evidence of the AFP’s violations of the rights of children in the armed conflict with the NDFP,” the NDFP statement added.

Fr. Salas recalled that another damning case of the AFP’s child abuse is that of Joel “Dayucdoc” Silvestre, a mentally-handicapped 13-year-old from Brgy. Montalban, Matuguinao, Western Samar who was claimed by the 8th ID to be an NPA child combatant in June 2009.

“The GRP blatantly violated Joel’s rights: soldiers took advantage of
his mental handicap and tricked him so he could be taken into custody.
The military then used Joel as a guide in their military operations;
he was given a firearm and made to identify alleged NPA supporters in
his community who were then interrogated and tortured,” the NDFP-Eastern Visayas added.

The group also said the 8th ID and DSWD also presented Joel to the media, divulging his real name and allowing photos and videos of him to be taken. The NDF said aside from the ordeal they imposed on Joel, other innocent people also suffered and the public victimized with deception because of the
military’s stupid and vicious machinations.

Fr. Salas also called for justice for Michelle, Joel and other
victims of human rights violations under the military’s Oplan Bantay
Laya.

“The NDFP-Eastern Visayas reminds the GRP that it will definitely be brought to
account for violating the rights of Michelle Adelantar and Joel
“Dayucdoc” Silvestre, which are well-documented and with many
witnesses to attest the truth,” it said.

“We demand the immediate release of Michelle Adelantar. We demand
justice for the victims of Oplan Bantay Laya. We demand the arrest,
trial and punishment of the outgoing president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
for widespread and gross human rights violations under Oplan Bantay
Laya and other crimes against the people,” the NDFP-Eastern Visayas added.

Meanwhile, leading presidential candidate Sen. Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III remains hesistant to snowballing demand of peace advocates in Manila to resume the stalled talks between the NDFP and the government peace panel.

In a separate statement, the leftist fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) said the presumptive president elect Aquino was not in poltiical mood to talk peace with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), its armed wing the New People’s Army (NPA) and the NDF.

Pamalakaya chairperson Fernando Hicap believed Sen.Aquino was not really sincere in promoting peace all over the country and he will continue what were prescribed before by powerful military officials in the AFP, which were in accordance with the militaist program of Washington D.C government under the administration of US President Barack Obama. #

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Delisting of Joma in terrorist list is final, says EU court

By Kremlin Montenegro,contributor,The Pamalakaya times

Manila, Philippines- The judgment of the European Court of First Instance (now called the General Court under the Lisbon Treaty) removing Prof. Jose Maria Sison last 30 September 2009 from the terrorist blacklist of the European Union and unfreezing his bank account is now final and executory, according to a press statement sent to The Pamalakaya Times.

Ruth de Leon, internatonal coordinator of the support group DEFEND Committee said through its Legal Office, the Council of the European Union has confirmed today to Jan Fermon, the lead lawyer of Prof. Sison, that it has not lodged an appeal of the aforesaid judgment to the European Court of Justice within the prescribed period of appeal of two months and ten days from the date of judgment. The expiry date for the appeal was yesterday, 10 December 2009.

“Prof. Sison has sealed his victory after more than seven years of legal struggle against the EU terrorist blacklist since he was placed there on 22 October 2002 and was subjected to deprivation of the essential needs of human life and the violation of his fundamental human rights,” said the Utrecht based de Leon.

De leon said Prof. Sison won his case against the Council of EU before the European Court in 2007 on procedural issues. The court ruled that the Council has violated his rights to be properly informed of the charge, to be defended by counsel and to seek judicial protection.

Last 30 September 2009, Prof. Sison won his case on substantive issues. The court ruled that he was never investigated, prosecuted nor convicted for any specific act of terrorism and that passing and incidental statements in Dutch court judgments actually favorable to him on his asylum case from 1992 to 1997 and on the unproven murder charge against in 2007 did not make him a terrorist.

“The 30 September judgment of the European court in favor of Prof. Sison is a brilliant landmark decision. It is a standard for preventing the arbitrariness of European governments in blacklisting individuals, organizations and other entities as terrorists and for upholding and respecting their human rights. It is a blow on trends of fascism in Europe which have been growing in the name of anti-terrorism”, the DEFEND Committee said.

The lawyers of the exiled Sison said with the 30 September judgment having become final and executory, the case of founding chair of the Communist Party of the Philippines, now chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippins (NDFP) negotiating panel to the peace talks with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines against the Council of EU can move forward to the stage of determining what compensation shall be made to his lawyers and to him for the deprivations, violations of rights and moral and material damages that he has suffered for more than seven years.

Prof. Sison’s battery of lawyers includes Jan Fermon from Belgium, Eberhard Hans Schultz and Wolfgang Kaleck of Germany, Antoine Comte of France and Dundar Gurses of The Netherlands. Judge Romeo T. Capulong and Rachel F. Pastores of the Public Interest Law Center and Bernard Tomlow, Dutch lawyer of the NDF International Office, have also provided legal cooperation.

Meanwhile, in Manila, leftwing groups supportive of the resumption of peace talks between the NDFP and the GRP urged the Philippine government to immediately lift the Martial Law in Maguindanao and stop sinister plot to install martial rule across the country, asserting that the imposition of Martial Law will frustrate efforts to bring both belligerent forces back to the negotiating table.

Rural based groups Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) and the fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) said the imposition of Martial Law will send the talks in total collapse if the Arroyo administration pushes the execution of Martial Law all over the country.

Both groups maintained that the Ampatuan massacre last Nov.23 was orchestrated by top national security officials of Malacanang to stop the 2010 elections, lay down the grounds of Martial Law and perpetuate Mrs. Arroyo to power.

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Open letters suggesting that Palace and NSA Gonzalez role in Ampatuan massacre and the declaration of Martial Law

An analysis, in the wake of the Ampatuan murders, by Bertini “Toto” Causing, a member of the board of the National Press Club of the Philippines and also legal consultant for the National Press Club. Mr Causing is columnist both of Hataw and Police Files Tonight. With the kind permission of Paul Brinkley-Rogers.

ANALYSIS

You must know that Norberto Gonzales as Defense Secretary is a “terror” operator and if he is to work with political operator Ronaldo Puno, they become a dreaded pair. Remember that Gonzales came from National Intelligence Security Agency, from where came the Vidal Doble who taped Garcillano’s talks with Gloria. Also remember that Puno (the bad one) was instrumental in making Miriam Santiago lose to FVR and in Garci operations in Mindanao.

You must also know that before the Ampatuan massacre, there were hell-bent planning sessions on how Gloria could possibly hold over, de facto or de jure. They were looking at how they can foment war in Muslim areas to have a justification for sinister plots.

Instead of launching war against MILF and MNLF which is expensive, what Gonzales did was to make “chismis” circulating between two possible warring clans.

The timing was perfect because Datu Andal Sr. was so worried how he can stay in power because of the three-term limit. Andal Sr. even went to the Comelec in the Province of Maguindanao to ask what should he do to enable him to run again for the 2010 elections.

A “bobo” Comelec official advised him to take a leave. Another Comelec official advised him to resign. Confused, Andal Sr. went to Malacanang and asked an Arroyo confidante what to do. And Andal was told that the only way for him to hold on to power is to prevent elections there from happening. And he was advised to do what is necessary.

I do not know what was the advice; but I surmise that he was egged on not to give in to the Mangudadatus who were hell bent on grabbing power from him. In short, “binatirya” or “tsinismis patalikod ang mga Mangudadatu kay Andal na aagawin ang poder sa kanila.” And once the power is taken over, the Mangudadatus would take revenge for the earlier raids done on them resulting in seizure of firearms.

Obsessed with desire to keep power revved up by “chismis”, the Ampatuans harbored deep hatred and extreme fear of losing power. And to ensure that no election shall occur, the killings should be done with extreme brutality to justify “martial law,” a condition when no election can be held in the province.

They were only looking at killing and burying to nowhere the Mangudadatus and families so that they would only be recorded as missing and would be charged against the rebels or Abu Sayyaf, not thinking they would be including 30 journalists in their plan for they did not think that Mangudadatu would ask for the help of media men. And if there would be martial law, the Ampatuans stay in power under the hold-over principle.

But their game plot failed during the execution. Thank God: before they knew it, Toto Mangudadatu was able to know the abduction because his wife was able to call him up, prompting Toto Mangudadatu to call for Army assistance; the soldiers responded quick enough that forced the killers to escape, even though the other victims were not yet buried, leading to the discovery of the plan; thus, the execution failed.

The original plot was just to make it appear that the victims disappeared mysteriously so that it can be blamed to heightened rebellion that would justify attacks on MILF which, in turn, would justify martial law.

Until here, I believe I have answered now the question why it should be as brutal as this. It was the Ampatuans who did the act and planned the act. The Gloria government only happened to have benefited from it to justify martial rule.

What would be the net effect when martial law gains momentum in Maguindanao? It will embolden the Gloria machines to do the same in other Muslim provinces: (a) Wahab Akbar’s family vs Gerry Salappudin’s in Basilan; (b) Sakur Tan clan vs Tupay Loong clan in Sulu; (c) Jaafar clan vs opponents in Tawi-Tawi; (d) Dimaporo clan in Lanao Norte against a challenging clan; and (e) Many clans in Lanao Sur.

If Norberto Gonzales would have his way, he wanted all of them to fight each other to justify martial law in the rest of Muslim provinces.

Remember that the total number of votes in these provinces is substantially big enough to cause suspension of proclamation of winners in Presidential, Vice-Presidential and Senatorial races.

So that when proclamation cannot be had and it will be aggravated and prolonged by creative petitions and protests to be filed before the Comelec, the Speaker of the House (Gloria) would act as Acting President. Why? Since there would be no president, vice president and senators who would be proclaimed, the Speaker takes over under the Constitution. Gloria would argue that the 12 present senators cannot choose a Senate President because it needs at least 13 votes to elect the Senate President.

Another plus or bonus for them: the House of Representatives will approve to extend martial law by means of them voting together with the Senators where the senator’s vote is only one.

A dummy petition shall be filed to question the act of “voting jointly” by means of outnumbering the Senators; and hoping the Gloria-appointees- dominated Supreme Court would rule that “voting jointly” means lumping together the senators and the congressmen and each of them has only ONE VOTE.

And when the Supreme Court would go Gloria’s way, they would now implement House Resolution 1109 calling for the senators and congressmen to “vote jointly” for a CON-ASS to pave the way for a parliamentary government.

This PLUS or BONUS may happen before or after the 2010 elections. If it happens after elections, the picture that you would see is that the leading candidates for president, vice-president and senators cannot be proclaimed because their margin of leads can still be overturned by the total votes in areas where voting would be deferred till eternity by Martial Law.

So that this is a GRIM POSSIBILITY.

Patriotically yours,

Toto Causing

An earlier e-mail to Mr Brinkley-Rogers by Mr Causing, which first appeared at a Pinoy discussion group online. Please feel free to circulate my analysis as you wish. I do not have any reason for me to be afraid of getting known as the author of this piece. To make this known the farthest it can and to the largest number of people possible, the better it is for the Philippines and the Filipinos.

This analysis becomes all the more necessary to be known because of the falsity and illogical premises relied on in placing Maguindanao province under the state of martial law. The manifestations displayed yesterday by Gloria & her minions show burning intention to pursue martial law are getting bolder. It now appears to be bordering on clear and present danger to democracy and the Filipino people.

Obama and Hillary must know this to warn Gloria not to proceed with the sinister plot. Why will the Gloria clique claim there is rebellion while stating at the same time in the premises of martial law proclamation that the territories being held by the rebel Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) shall be respected?

To make this clear, let me quote the proclamation: “Sec. 1: There is hereby declared a state of martial law in the province of Maguindanao except for the identified areas of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front as referred to in the implementing operational guidelines of the GRP-MILF agreement on the General Cessation of Hostilities. “

Moreover, MILF has been there existing and campaigning actively for more than a decade now yet in not one period in the past has martial law been proclaimed. In other words, it is very clear in the proclamation that the Gloria Arroyo Government is not referring to the MILF as the reason of rebellion that necessitates martial law.

By deduction, it means that the Gloria administration is treating, no matter how illogical, the massacre of about 20 women, two lady lawyers and 32 journalists as an act of rebellion.

As such, they are treating the suspected perpetrators of the goriest-ever massacre as “rebels.” True, Department of Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera announced that the charges they were filing against the Ampatuans are “rebellion.”

This was confirmed when television reports showed interviews of Army officers stating that they were arresting the Ampatuans for rebellion. Is this not out of syntax when the purpose of the brutal killings were not to topple the duly-constituted government? Is this not revolting to conscience to treat them as rebels when it is very clear there has been no intention to deprive the government of the right to assert authority in any place in Maguindanao?

Is it not clear that the purpose of the massacre was only to scare out or eliminate possible opponents in the upcoming elections for governor of the province in May of 2010? Is it not clear that the Ampatuans had a clear intention to run for the elective posts up for grabs in that elections and as such there is no intention to deprive the national government to exercise authority in Maguindanao?

Is it not clear that rebellion is an offense against the government only? Is it not clear that the massacre as committed, assuming to have been committed by the Ampatuans, is an offense against the persons of the victims, that the state’s interest in giving justice to massacre victims is only to keep its moral obligation to keep the peace and assuage the revolting conscience?

In sum, it is very clear that there is no rebellion. And the fact that the Gloria minions are insisting that there is rebellion and in fact arrested the Ampatuans on rebellion charges means my analysis is jibing with the clear intention to place Maguindanao under martial law to achieve the purpose of foiling the holding of elections in this place. The situation of danger against Democracy and the People is CLEAR AND PRESENT. So please, Sir Paul, disseminate to the largest possible audience my analysis along with this email message of mine to you.

Patriotically yours,

Toto Causing

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EU court removes Joma from terrorist blacklist

EU court removes Joma from terrorist blacklist
by Gerry Albert Corpuz, senior reporter, The Pamalakaya Times

Manila, Philippines- Professor Jose Maria Sison and his legal counsels scored a major legal victory after the European Court of First Instance (ECFI) annulled yesterday all decisions and a regulation of the Council of the European Union (EU) that had maintained Prof. Jose Maria Sison in its so-called terrorist blacklist.

In a statement furnished by the The Netherlands based DEFEND Committee, the group said the removal of the name of Prof. Sison from the blacklist is the essence or main point of the ECFI judgment on Case T-341/07 of Prof. Sison against the Council of EU. “It directly unfreezes Sison’s funds in his small bank account and allows him to engage in financial dealings like any ordinary person,” it said.

To annul the acts of the Council in blacklisting Prof. Sison and
freezing his account, the ECFI ruled that the national decisions done in
The Netherlands and relied upon by the Council did not relate to the
instigation of investigations or prosecution or to a conviction for
terrorist activity, contrary to the requirements of European Community Law.

Aside from unfreezing the funds of Prof. Sison, the ECFI judgment opens the way for him to assert and enjoy all his rights that have been
restricted or suppressed due to the false charge of terrorism. He can
benefit from the judgment in the following ways:

1. To claim back the social payments for living allowance, housing,
health insurance and old age pension which have been withdrawn from him since 2002;
2. To seek gainful employment or render professional services with
remuneration;
3. To secure legal admission as a refugee and a residence permit;
4. To travel freely without restrictions;
5. To be free from being labelled and stigmatized as a terrorist; and
6. To claim moral and material damages for what he has suffered since 2002.

“The International DEFEND Committee is calling on all its adherents,
supporters and friends to celebrate the legal victory of Prof. Jose
Maria Sison in the European Court and at the same time to become more determined than ever before in demanding that the Dutch government and Council of the EU change their hostile policy towards him,” the statement said.

The European court decision ordered the Dutch government and the Council of the EU to cease and desist from being the vehicles of false charges and tools of persecution of the US and Philippine governments against Prof. Jose Maria Sison.

The decision should now allow and encourage Sison to act freely and fruitfully as the chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in peace negotiations with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines.

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EU court to decide Joma’s case vs. terror blacklist


EU court to decide Joma’s case vs. terror blacklist

Utrecht, The Netherlands- The European Court of First Instance (ECFI) will issue in Luxembourg on 30 September its judgment on Case T-341/07 of Prof. Jose Maria Sison versus the Council of the European Union (EU), in which he complains against the maintenance of his name in the EU terrorist blacklist and
demands the removal of his name from said list.

In a statement sent by the International Committee DEFEND Filipino progressives in Europe, it says, “the crucial point against the Council of the European Union is that it has unjustly maintained Prof. Sison in the so-called terrorist blacklist without any concrete evidence against him for any specific act of terrorism.”

According to DEFEND, previously, the European court issued a court judgment on 11 July 2007 in favor of Prof. Sison, ordering the Council of the EU to annul its decision to blacklist Prof. Sison and declaring the Council as having infringed Prof. Sison’s rights of defense, the obligation to state reasons and the right to effective judicial protection.

But before the issuance of the court judgment, the Council of the EU put again the name of Prof. Sison in its blacklist on 28 June 2007, thus prompting him to file a new complaint before the European Court demand his removal from the so-called terrorist blacklist on the ground that the Council has infringed the following: 1) the obligation to state reasons and make a truthful assessment, 2) Article 2 (3) of Regulation No. 2580/2001 and Article 1 (4) of Common Position 2001/931, 3) the
principle of proportionality and 4) the general principles of Community law and fundamental rights.

The International DEFEND Committee is confident that Prof. Sison will win his case again because of the previous judgment of the ECFI in favor of Prof. Sison in 2007 and the dropping of the false charges of murder against him in The Netherlands last 31 March 2009. The Dutch prosecution service failed to establish any criminal offense of Prof. Sison.

Nicholas James Forwood is the presiding judge of the court in Case T-341/07 of Prof. Jose Maria Sison versus the Council of the EU. According to E. Coulon, the registrar of the court, the ECFI judgment shall be read at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, 30 September 2009 in one of the ECFI courtrooms at Kirchberg, Luxembourg, Rue du Fort Niedergrunewald L-2925.

Prof. Sison is represented by Jan Fermon as lead lawyer, the German lawyers Eberhard Schultz and Wolfgang Kaleck, the Filipino lawyer Romeo T. Capulong, the French lawyer Antoine Comte and Dutch lawyer Dundar Gurses. The International DEFEND Committee provides moral and material support to Prof. Jose Maria Sison.

Journalists are advised to seek entry to the courtroom at the reception desk of the ECFI 15 minutes before the session. They can interview briefly Prof. Jose Maria Sison and his lead counsel, Jan Fermon, outside of the courtroom immediately after the issuance of the decision.

According to Ms Ruth de Leon, International Committee DEFEND pointperson in Europe, in the final oral hearing of the Sison complaint against the EU terrorist blacklist last 30 April 2009, the presiding judge took special note of the fact that Prof. Sison had never been prosecuted in The Netherlands for any specific act of terrorism. The lawyer of the Dutch government as intervener in the case also admitted that the previous dropping of the murder charges against him by the Dutch prosecution was a new element to be taken into account.

“The false charges of inciting the killing of Philippine military agents was terminated by the Dutch prosecution service last 31 March 2009 due to lack of evidence, as had been ruled previously in judgments of Dutch judicial authorities (district court of The Hague, appellate court and the examining judge),” she said.

De leon further stressed the aforesaid termination of prosecution is relevant to the case before the European court. It shows the lack of concrete evidence for the allegation that Prof. Sison is Armando Liwanag or chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) as well as for the allegation that he is culpable for any violent act of the New People’s Army, despite the close collaboration of Dutch and Philippine political authorities for several years in trying to criminalize him.

“The Council has continuously failed to cite any decision of any
competent national judicial authority to prove Prof. Sison’s involvement in any specific act of terrorism. In desperation, the Council has misrepresented as decisions on Prof. Sison’s culpability for terrorism the Dutch court decisions on his application for political asylum in the 1990s and the recent Dutch court decisions on the false charges of inciting murder,” she said.

De leon added: “In fact, the Dutch Council of State in 1992 and 1995 and the Dutch Law Uniformity Chamber in 1997 ruled that Prof. Sison is a political refugee under Article 1 A of the Refugee Convention because he has no criminal liability as to disqualify him from being recognized as such.”

She said the District Court of The Hague and the Appellate Court in 2007 ruled that there is no sufficient evidence against him for the incitation of murder. The passing statement that there are indications or clues that he plays a prominent role in the CPP does not mean culpability for any criminal act of terrorism.

Jan Fermon, lead counsel of Prof. Sison, sharply criticized the of the EU and the Dutch government for misrepresenting judgments of the District Court of the Hague on 13 September 2007 and the Dutch Appeal Court on 3 October 2007 on false murder charges against Prof. Sison as judgments condemning him for terrorism. In fact the court decisions released Prof. Sison from detention on the ground of insufficent evidence for the charges of inciting murder.

The so-called terrorist blacklisting of the CPP and NPA by the US, EU and other foreign governments is completely anomalous because under Philippine law the CPP is already legal by virtue of the repeal of the Anti-Subversion Law in 1992 and because under Philippine law the acts of revolutionary armed struggle by the NPA against military targets are deemed as acts of rebellion and under international laws of war as acts of belligerency in a civil war.

On the basis of the Marty report and recommendations, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has condemned EU blacklisting procedures as violative of human rights. Legal experts and human rights organizations have cited the case of Prof. Sison to express outrage over the violation of his fundamental rights.

Since being blacklisted as terrorist by the US, Dutch and other
governments in August 2002, Prof. Sison has been actually subjected to punitive measures for more than seven years under the pretext of temporary administrative restrictive measures. Civil death is imposed him as he is prohibited from having legal residence, earning an income, receiving a living allowance, holding a house, having sufficient insurance coverage, receiving old age pension and travelling freely.

By being merely blacklisted as a “terrorist”, Prof. Sison has
suffered a fate worse than that of a criminal convicted for murder or even the prime suspects in 9-11 who are assured of their essential needs by UN Security Council resolution 1452. Until now, the Dutch Finance Minister prohibits Prof. Sison from having financial transaction of any kind and from receiving any social payment for his essential human needs. Friends
are outraged by the inhumanity of the EU and the Dutch government and lend Prof. Sison the resources for his subsistence and legal expenses.###

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Militants seek bishops divine intervention, presidentiables support on resumption of GRP-NDFP peace talks

Militants seek bishops divine intervention, presidentiables support on resumption of GRP-NDFP peace talks

One of the groups supporting the resumption of peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the communist-led National Democratic Front of the Philippines on Saturday urged the influential Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)and all aspirants to the 2010 presidential elections to intervene and convince the government to remove all roadblocks for the stalled talks to resume at the earliest possible time.

“We strongly appeal to the 117 archbishops and bishops of the CBCP, and all presidential candidates in the 2010 elections to call on the Philippine government to rescind from imposing roadblocks that further imperil the talks. We believe the demands of the NDFP are politically and morally correct and the GRP should comply and honor these demands in the name of our people’s search for just and lasting peace,” said Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap.

The Pamalakaya leader said archbishops and bishops of the CBCP and presidential aspirants Senator Manuel Villar of Nacionalista Party, Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III of Liberal Party, former President Joseph Estrada of Partido ng Masang Pilipino, Senator Francis Escudero of Nationalist’s People’s Coalition, Brother Eddie Villanueva of Bagong Pilipinas, Vice-President Noli de Castro and even administration bets Defense secretary Gilbert Teodoro and MMDA chair Bayani Fernando should join forces in convincing Malacanang to recognize the legitimate demands of the NDFP and kick off the resumption of talks at the earliest possible time.

Hicap reminded the CBCP and the 2010 presidential candidates that the resumption of peace talks is in the interest of the Filipino people calling for political settlement of the ongoing civil war in the countryside, saying many stakes that represent the aspirations of the people like human rights and economic rights will be discussed at the resumption of the talks.

‘The resumption of the talks is important to the people. It is a venue for them to articulate their day-to-day issues and struggles including but not limited to human rights and economic rights. The NDFP consultants should be freed from any kind of harassment and that the fabricated charges against them should be quashed and thrown to the dustbin of history for they are nothing but trumped up charges orchestrated by the militarist regime of President Arroyo,” added Hicap.

“The CBCP’s divine intervention and the strong support and lobbying of all presidential candidates for the resumption of the talks are needed to stop Malacañang from imposing conditions detrimental to the resumption of the talks,” he said.

Pamalakaya said it will also raise different issues to the peace talks once it is resumed like anti-Filipino national agreements like the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (Jpepa) and across-the-nation offshore mining activities in the country which it said destroys the small fisherfolk livelihood and the marine environment.

The militant group will also raise the P 32-billion proposed production subsidy for the small fisherfolk when the two panels starts discussion of the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio Economic Rights or CASER, the second substantive agenda after human rights.

Luis Jalandoni, chair of the NDFP peace panel criticized that since lifting of the government suspension of the Jasig since July 17, it has done nothing to comply in the spirit and intent of the agreement. “Instead, the GRP has further violated the Jasig, generated more impediments and deprived consultants of full immunity and safety guarantees,” he said.

The NDFP peace panel chair noted that alleged rebel leader Randal Echanis was conditionally release for six months which is calculated to turn him into a hostaged consultant under duress of the GRP. He is subject to arrest anytime at the whim of GRP.

Jalandoni also noted two others, Rafael Baylosis and Vicente Ladlad were issued safe conduct passes “whose text incriminates them and makes them accept they are criminal offenders. The two consultants have rejected the “shame passes” he said. #

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Manila talking peace while terrorizing people 

THE PAMALAKAYA TIMES EDITORIAL
Manila talking peace while terrorizing people

The resumption of the stalled peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines will kick off in the last week of August, a development welcomed by peace advocates all over the Philippines.

However, peace advocates at the same time are worried because while the Manila government is talking peace, its armed forces are on a rampage displacing thousands of civilians in the countryside.

A report from the National Solidarity Mission to the Lumad Evacuees in Surigao del Sur revealed that since June 18, 2009, some 303 Manobo families with 1,795 individuals fled their mountain communities in the municipalities of Lianga, San Agustin and Tago in Surigao del Sur after the deployment of troops from different units under the 401st Infantry Brigade.

According to the human rights watchdog Karapatan in Caraga Region, the deployment of thousands of troops was aimed at promoting peace and development in the communist influenced areas, so to implement their community projects, specifically literacy projects in 15 indigenous farming communities.

But the group said the literacy projects of the Armed Forces of the Philippines were ironic. The human rights group said these Manobo peasant communities already have schools that were established with the help of the Tribal Filipino Program in the province and the Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development, two non-government organizations that were branded by the National Security Council of Malacañang as fronts of communist guerillas and the Communist Party of the Philippines.

Reports reaching regional and provincial media outlets said military checkpoints have been set up that limited the amount of food that could be brought into the communities. Worse, the schools of tribal children were surrounded 24 hours a day and seven times a week by the military prompting the children to quit school for fear of military harassment.

The mission also said government troops in full-battle gear have encamped the homes of tribal people and they maintained detachments and war posts within the range of fire of civilian communities, a situation which local government agencies and authorities refused to address for fear of military reprisal.

Karapatan-Caraga region chapter said negotiations for the immediate return of the evacuees to their homes were facilitated by Surigao del Sur Governor Vicente Pimentel and witnessed by the forthcoming president of the influential Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines and Tandag Diocese Bishop Nereo Odchimar. But these negotiations remain bleak because the military refused to pull out from the tribal peasant communities.

The deployment of government troops in battalion sizes in these tribal farmer communities is not the first time since President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo assumed the presidency in 2001. In 2005 and 2007, the military launched an occupation campaign where their operations resulted in the death of an indigenous farmer and the enforced disappearance of four other tribal farmers.

During the same years, cases of physical and psychological torture were committed against members of the 15 Lumad peasant communities, and other cases of human rights violations such as destruction and disruption of their livelihood, cessation of classes because of the use of the schools as military barracks that created fear and insecurity among their children.

The Manila government clearly violated a lot of international instruments in the conduct of just and humane war as enshrined in the United Nations’ Declaration of Human Rights and other protocols serving as guides in the conduct of civil war.

President Arroyo and the AFP also summarily violated its agreement with the NDFP, which is the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law that prohibits the military from terrorizing the civilian populace in the course of military operations against the New People’s Army, the political armed group of the CPP.

Terrorizing civilians, whom the military suspects of supporting the NPAs is a national policy of the Manila government and this campaign of unjust war and state terror has been going since time immemorial in vain attempt to crush the raging war for national liberation espoused by the New People’s Army in rural Philippines.

Based on the consolidated report filed by Karapatan from 2001 to 2008, the Manila government under the Arroyo administration forced the evacuation and displacement of 868,096 Filipinos and committed human rights abuses in the form of indiscriminate firing to some 534,717 individuals during the same period.

Since 2001 up to December 2008, the government imposed food blockades victimizing 79,840 people. In the conduct of its counter-insurgency program against the communist guerillas, human rights organizations reported that the use of schools, medical, religious and other public places by the military affected 47,718 people mostly farmers and their children.

Also during the same period, advocates of children’s rights in rural communities revealed that the Manila government violated the rights of 7,749 children all over the country in the course of military operations.

These data on human rights abuses are excluded from the hundreds of cases of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, which according to Karapatan have already victimized 991 and 201 political activists over the last 8 years of the Arroyo administration.

Meanwhile, the NDFP leadership in Mindanao has urged the Manila government and the Philippine military to stop terrorizing the tribal communities. It asserted that peoples’ communities should be spared from any forms or any kinds of state terror and military action in accordance with the UN instruments on human rights and on the conduct of war against armed national liberation movements like the one waged by NPAs.

Very much concerned with the situation of the tribal communities, the NDFP said the Philippine military should be compelled to stop its operations to allow humanitarian assistance groups to conduct immediate relief and rehabilitation works. It said the Arroyo government should pull out its troops to allow evacuees’ safe return to their homes and resume their production in the farms and build their interrupted livelihood affected by the military all-out offensive against the communist guerillas.

People’s associations and non-government organizations working for the rights and welfare of tribal communities should bring the issue before members of the peace panel in Oslo, Norway where the talks will be held. In particular, we suggest these groups to bring their complaints against the Government of the Republic of the Philippines to the NDFP peace panel and copy furnish the Royal Norwegian Government, being the third party facilitator to the peace talks.

Advocates of human rights should castigate and denounce the Manila government and the Philippine military for wantonly violating the rights of the people in the name of its counter-insurgency program and ideology of national security. It is one of the politically correct ways of addressing the humanitarian emergency problem and gross human rights abuses in Surigao del Sur.

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Militants seek CBCP divine intervention on GRP-NDFP peace talks

Militants seek CBCP divine intervention on GRP-NDFP peace talks

One of the groups supporting the resumption of peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the communist-led National Democratic Front of the Philippines on Saturday urged the influential Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to intervene in the resumption of the talks, which is currently imperiled by the failure of the Macapagal-Arroyo government to comply with the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (Jasig) that could affect the resumption of the talks.

“We strongly appeal to the 117 archbishops and bishops of the CBCP to support the politically and morally correct position of the NDFP for the GRP to comply with and honor the spirit of the agreement so the stalled peace talks could start anytime between the last week of this month or first week of September,” said Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap.

“We also appeal to the peace advocates to do the same and pressure Malacañang and the Arroyo peace panel so that the NDFP and its consultants can go back to the negotiating panel without being hostage, undermined or kept under duress by the Manila government,” the Pamalakaya leader said.

Hicap reminded the CBCP that the resumption of peace talks is also in the interest of the Filipino people calling for political settlement of the ongoing civil war in the countryside, saying many stakes that represent the aspirations of the people like human rights and economic rights will be discussed at the resumption of the talks.

‘The resumption of the talks is important to the people. It is a venue for them to articulate their day-to-day issues and struggles including but not limited to human rights and economic rights. The NDFP consultants should be freed from any kind of harassment and that fabricated charges against them should be quashed and thrown to the dustbin of history for they are nothing but trumped up charges orchestrated by the militarist regime of President Arroyo,” added Hicap.

“The CBCP’s divine intervention is needed to stop Malacañang from imposing conditions or manufacturing roadblocks to place the talks in peril,” he said.

Pamalakaya said it will also raise different issues to the peace talks once it is resumed like anti-Filipino national agreements like the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (Jpepa) and across-the-nation offshore mining activities in the country which it said destroys the small fisherfolk livelihood and the marine environment.

The militant group will also raise the P 32-billion proposed production subsidy for the small fisherfolk when the two panels starts discussion of the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio Economic Rights or CASER, the second substantive agenda after human rights.

Luis Jalandoni, chair of the NDFP peace panel criticized that since lifting of the government suspension of the Jasig since July 17, it has done nothing to comply in the spirit and intent of the agreement. “Instead, the GRP has further violated the Jasig, generated more impediments and deprived consultants of full immunity and safety guarantees,” he said.

The NDFP peace panel chair noted that alleged rebel leader Randal Echanis was conditionally release for six months which is calculated to turn him into a hostaged consultant under duress of the GRP. He is subject to arrest anytime at the whim of GRP.

Jalandoni also noted two others, Rafael Baylosis and Vicente Ladlad were issued safe conduct passes “whose text incriminates them and makes them accept they are criminal offenders. The two consultants have rejected the “shame passes” he said. #

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