Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Militant fishers set Bicol wide “fluvial protest” against Obama’s push for VFA

Militant fishers set Bicol wide “fluvial protest” against Obama’s push for VFA

Calling US President Barack Obama the biggest disappointment of the 21st century, leftwing activists belonging to the left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) and its regional affiliate Lakas ng Mangingisda ng Bicol (Lambat-Bicol) will hold a Bicol wide fluvial protest against the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the upcoming RP-US joint military exercises in the region.

Lambat-chairperson and Pamalakaya vice chair for Luzon Salvador France said their groups were disappointed with Obama’s call to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo urging her to keep the defense pact intact and praising the government’s efforts on counter terrorism.

To express their outrage against Obama’s push for VFA and Balikatan exercises in the country, Pamalakaya and Lambat-Bicol together with anti-Balikatan groups Ban Balikatan and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Bicol chapter will stage a fluvial protest tomorrow.

The Lambat-Bicol and Pamalakaya leader said 30 fishing boats will assemble in San Roque, Albay at around 8:00 a.m and will sail towards Legaspi City pier by 9:00 a.m. France said the fluvial protesters are expected to reach the city’s main port by 10:00 a.m where they will hold a one-hour protest against VFA and Balikatan.

France also said the fisherfolk protesters and other activists who will participate in the anti-VFA and anti-Balikatan protest will burn US flags to dramatize their protest against what they called Obama-directed US military intervention and war of aggression in the country.

“This is plain and simple case of same dog, new collar syndrome. Mr. Obama is the new George W. Bush of Washington D.C and his color is now changing from black to bloody red by endorsing the VFA and the Balikatan exercises yearly stage under the tutelage of this one-sided and anti-Filipino defense pact between the US and the Philippines,” said Pamalakaya.

Pamalakaya and Lambat-Bicol said fluvial protests will also be held in Sorsogon and Masbate today. “This region wide Bangkaan laban sa Balikatan exercises (boat-to-boat exercises) will be the Bicolano fisherfolk’s expression of outrage against this undeniable intervention and war of aggression by US military troops under the camouflage of Balikatan exercises,” they said.

For his part, Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said the fisherfolk will take this opportunity to tell the people of Bicol, of the Philippines and of the entire universe, that the RP-US joint military exercises are nothing but pure US militarism and acts of intervention and aggression.

Hicap asserted the RP-US Balikatan exercises were not only meant to gain future access to guerilla fronts maintained by the CPP and the NPA. The joint military training exercises will also cover intelligence and military operations against militant groups in the region, which the AFP and the US State Department labeled as front organizations of the CPP in the Bicol region.

“The sinister agenda of Balikatan exercises include intelligence work on various people’s organizations, their leaders and mass members highly critical of US military and economic interests in the Philippines, and who are very vocal against state militarization and foreign intervention,” he said. #

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Militants asked GMA to foot the bill on latest trip

Latest trip cost taxpayers P 123 million
Militants asked GMA to foot the bill on latest trip

The left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Thursday urged President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to
shoulder the expenses of her latest trip to Switzerland,Italy, Saudia Arabia, Bahrain and the United States.

“We strongly suggest President Arroyo to shoulder the expenses of her latest trip to Europe, Middle East and the United States. Her trip last week is not in the interest of the Filipino people, therefore she should
foot the bill and source the money from her own hidden wealth,” Pamalakaya information officer Gerry Albert Corpuz said in a press statement.

Corpuz said: ” President Arroyo spent P 123 million for her five-day travel escapade crossing the continents of Europe, the Middle East and North
America in a record-breaking run. She should pay for her own trip, the Filipino taxpayers should be
liberated from paying Arroyo’s around the world in 80-day drama.”

Pamalakaya said the P 123 million is enough to build 2,640 modest homes for urban poor, or 2,640 new
classroons at a modest price of P 50,000 per unit, or could provide immediate relief of P 50,000 per
overseas Filipino worker for 2,640 returning OFWs in the country who are displaced by the current economic and financial crisis.

The militant group said the P 123 million could be used to put up 1,320 water pumps all over the country
at the price of P 100,000 per water pump, or 2,640 new jobs at a rate of P 50,000 per job.

Pamalakaya said the P 123 million spent by Mrs. Arroyo could have been used to production subsidies of rural
producers like farmers and fisherfolk, and could buy 8,200,000 kilos of locally produced palay from
Filipino farmers at the rate of P 15 per kilo.

“Mrs. Arroyo is wasting the people’s money for her global moonlighting. This is very unfair to me, to you
and to all of us,” the Pamalakaya information chief added.

But Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita defended the President asserting that the bill was “worth it” since the President secured “pledges” for multi-million dollar investments, including $200 million for agriculture from Saudi Arabia, $300 million for
agriculture and between $350-$400 million for a Makati City hotel from Bahrain, and $1.2 billion for textile
exports to the US.

President Arroyo was criticized for making a side-trip to Washington to attend the National Prayer Breakfast,
in what her critics called was an attempt to secure a meeting with US President Barack Obama.

Arroyo failed to meet Obama, but she was able to meet US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and a group of
Senators to press for the passage of a bill that will increase the benefits of Filipino World War II veterans.

Ermita said 61 people were on the President’s official party, excluding security personnel, of which, only 20
went with her to Washington from Manama, Bahrain. #

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KMP’s letter to Obama rejected by US Embassy in Manila

January 21, 2009

HON. PRES. BARACK OBAMA
President of the United States of America
White House, Washington DC
USA

THRU:

HON. AMB. KRISTIE KENNEY
Ambassador to the Philippines
U.S. Embassy,
Roxas Boulevard, Manila

Dear President Obama,

Greetings and congratulations from the Filipino peasantry!

We are the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) or the Peasant Movement of the Philippines, the national farmers organization of the Philippines composed of 15 regional chapters and 65 provincial chapters. We are presently commemorating the 22nd Anniversary of the Mendiola Massacre that took place in January 22, 1987 during the Aquino administration and killed 13 of our members and at least 39 wounded.

We are conveying our message as we learn that you are a civil libertarian, advocate of human rights, a pro-democracy and a new hope for your country and ours as well. You are a total opposite of the President in Malacanang, Manila. Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is of a landlord clan, keeping control of the vast agricultural lands cultivated by many poor farmers. She was not able to resolve of the centuries-old problem of the farmers that is landlessness. None of her programs pushed for genuine land reform or the free and democratic distribution of the very lands the farmers have developed and enriched. She is the major representative of the Filipino landlords dominating the countryside who use their political and economic powers to keep control of the lands and oppressing peasants who democratically struggle for genuine land reform.

Morever, Mrs. Arroyo is a human rights violator. Her counter-insurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya 2 (OBL 2, Operational Plan Guard Freedom 2) is composed of extra-judicial killings (EJK), enforced disappearances (ED) and arrest and detention (A & D). This program has wreaked havoc at the countryside, violating the basic rights of peasants and killing nearing-thousand of legal-democratic activists since she assumed power in 2001. Out of 933 victims of EJK, 528 were peasants and 109 were KMP leaders. Also, 129 peasants were abducted and forcibly disappeared. Also, scores of peasant leaders and activists are incarcerated in prisons nationwide.

KMP National Council member and Southern Tagalog regional representative Eddie Gumanoy was killed on April 22, 2003 in Mindoro province while on a fact-finding mission regarding human rights violations. The UN Human Rights Committee concluded that the government and military is responsible for his murder. Also, KMP – Southern Mindanao Region leader Celso Pojas was killed in May 5, 2008 in Davao City. KMP National Council member and Panay Regional Chair Nilo Arado was abducted on April 12, 2007 and was never surfaced. Nilo Arado was a witness on the Philippine Senate investigation on the P728-million Fertilizer Scam that involved Mrs. Arroyo’s electoral campaign led by her appointees at the agriculture department. Another witness, KMP leader from Pampanga province Ofelia Rodriguez was killed on January 16, 2006.

In addition, when Mrs. Arroyo’s labor secretary Patricia Sto. Tomas issued an order to quell the strike at Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac owned by former president Corazon Aquino, 7 agricultural workers were killed when military and police forces opened fire at the strikers. No justice were served for the victims.

The KMP National Deputy Secretary-General for External Affairs Randall “Ka Randy” Echanis is falsely accused and is now detained at Manila City Jail. He is a veteran activist who fought against the Marcos dictatorship and for democracy, and struggle for genuine land reform. He is accused of the “mass graves” in Leyte supposedly taking place in early 1980s when he was indeed in prison as a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship.

Generally, as the peasants are the majority of the Filipino people, KMP leads some of the biggest legal-democratic mobilizations in Manila and at the regions and provinces. Our mobilizations are always blocked with anti-riot government forces and were never allowed to hold rallies at Mendiola which is a historical venue. Our right to freedom to peaceful assembly is violated by the Arroyo government.

The peasant movement’s call to the Arroyo government is genuine land reform but in the process those who advocate peasants’ rights and interests become victims of human rights violations and systematically justice is not served. We are appealing your noble office not to support the Arroyo administration as her government is fascist, anti-peasant, anti-people and with gross record of human rights violations. Please do not associate your untainted integrity and reputation of democracy and human rights advocacy with the Arroyo authoritarian rule.

In light of pushing for democracy in the Philippines, we hope that you will maintain your pro-people standpoint by not supporting Mrs. Arroyo. We are hoping that you would response in the peasants’ favor.

In the name of the Filipino peasantry, we thank you for your time and attention and again, congratulations and more power to your office!

Respectfully yours,

MR. DANILO RAMOS
KMP Secretary-General

MR. WILFREDO MARBELLA
KMP Deputy Secretary-General

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