Tag Archives: Bayan

US President Barrack Obama dared:

US President Barrack Obama dared:
Denounce GMA over torture of Fil-Am activist

The chairperson of the left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Tuesday urged US President Barrack Obama to denounce President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the military establishment over the alleged torture of Fil-Am activist Melissa Ocampo by military agents of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

In a press statement, Pamalakaya chair Fernando Hicap said Obama is politically, legally and morally obliged to issue a strongly worded statement assailing President Arroyo and the AFP for the politically motivated abduction and torture of Ocampo, an American by citizenship who came to the Philippines for exposure and research program.

“US President Obama should come to the picture and assail President Arroyo and her national security syndicate in Malacañang to the highest order for torturing Ocampo. The White House made a super political monster out of Arroyo by endorsing its policy of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances in the name of Washington’s war on terror,” said Hicap.

Hicap said his group is wondering why up to now, the populist US president has yet to issue a statement involving the torture of Ocampo.

“Obama’s silence on the Ocampo torture is really bothering and mind-boggling. We hope Obama would do his assignment and castigate the Washington puppets in Malacañang and the AFP and tell them to stop their madness and eternal thirst for the blood of political activists,” he said.

The Pamalakaya leader said his group is planning to write the US Senate and the House of Representatives to conduct their own investigation on the abduction and torture of Ocampo, who is an American citizen.

“Definitely we will write the American leadership of both chambers of US Congress. This is one way of showing our full support to Ocampo and to all victims of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and torture under the Macapagal-Arroyo administration,” said Hicap.

According to Pamalakaya, the letter will be finalized this week by the national executive committee members of the fisherfolk alliance and will be sent not later than Friday through speed mail. Two years ago, Pamalakaya wrote a letter to Speaker of the US House of Representatives, urging top house leaders to address the issue of political killings of activists under the Arroyo administration.

The 31-year old Fil-Am in a press conference last Sunday in Los Angles, California burst into sobs as she publicly recounted on how a group of men she said were military agents tortured her to the point she would die. Ocampo, a member of the US chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) said she was planning to sue her torturers before a US court.

CHR (Commission on Human Rights) chair Leila de Lima yesterday asked Ocampo to come back to the Philippines to testify, saying a recent inspection of a military camp tended to validate her physical description of the place where she was tortured last May. #

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Detention of 7 NCR activists shows kind of President VP Noli would be, says Pamalakaya

Detention of 7 NCR activists shows kind of President VP Noli would be, says Pamalakaya

The dispersal of 60 urban poor protesters and arrest and detention of seven activists who held a demonstration and interrupted a visit by Vice-President Noli de Castro regarding a railroad project in Muntinlupa showed what kind of presidency the country will have if de Castro is elected as president in 2010 elections.

“This is very, very alarming. VP de Castro, who is being groomed by the administration to replace the current detestable occupant in Malacañang— President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, is showing his true colors as Mrs. Arroyo’s male political version,” said Fernando Hicap, chair of the left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) in a press statement.

“VP de Castro, the standard bearer of Lakas-Kampi merger party, which is the reincarnation of Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) is showing to the Filipino electorate what kind of a President he would be—anti-poor and anti-people,” Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said in a press statement.

“We have the Lakas-Kampi merger as KBL and de Castro as new Ferdinand Marcos of the 21st century in the offing. The question where Lakas-Kampi and VP de Castro will lead us to in 2010 is very, very predictable,” added Hicap.

The Muntinlupa police have been holding since Thursday night 7 activists identified with the NCR chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, Anakpawis party list and Anakbayan. They were arrested for conducting a protest rally against VP de Castro.

Senior Police Officer 1 Rodel Torres said charges of illegal assembly and alarm and scandal were to be filed yesterday against Iggy Rodriguez, Andrew Zarate, Gibe Santos, Ricky and Mark Rebosto, Aldrin Silanga, and Lucrecio Baril at the Muntinlupa City Prosecutor’s Office.

VP De Castro was a guest Thursday afternoon at the turnover ceremony of the Northrail and Southrail Linkage Project of the Philippine National Railways in Sucat when protesters suddenly appeared and chanted their grievances, said PO1 Oliver Mejia of the Southern Police District.

Roy Velez, chairman of militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan-NCR), said the detained activists belong to urban poor groups in Muntinlupa City and they were protesting the demolition of homes along the railroad tracks in Muntinlupa since March.

Around 60 protesters staged a rally near the PNR event to air their sentiments on the lack of relocation sites for the displaced urban poor. The protesters were violently dispersed by police after De Castro left the event, Velez said.

Meanwhile, Pamalakaya urged anti-electoral fraud groups to watch closely the conduct of next year’s national elections, adding that the announcement of interior and local government secretary Ronaldo Puno of Lakas-Kampi merger party’s clean sweep of the 2010 national elections is a sneak preview of what the Macapagal-Arroyo administration will do next year.

Puno said he was confident that Lakas-Kampi merger party will dominate the elections in 2010 and the party is going to win the electoral contest and lead the country in the next decade.

“An electoral sweep for Lakas-Kampi is only possible if the Arroyo administration engages into another massive crime or election cheating next in 2010 which is the tall of order for the day for the ruling political party come election time,” the group said. #

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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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Farmers commemorate 22nd year of Mendiola Massacre with burning of 1,500 photos of Arroyo

Farmers commemorate 22nd year of Mendiola Massacre with burning of 1,500 photos of Arroyo

Around 1,500 leftwing farmers identified with Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (Kasama-TK) and Alyansa ng Mga Magbubukid ng Gitnang Luzon (AMGL) commemorate the 22nd year anniversary of Mendiola Massacre by burning 1,500 pictures of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The farmers marched from the national office of the Department of Agrarian Reform in Quezon City before going to Mendiola before proceeding to Mendiola.

“This is a political statement in honor of the 13 martyrs of Mendiola and millions of Filipino farmers who are victims of state repression and who are still struggling for land and justice. We want President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to perish in the fires of hell,” said KMP deputy secretary general Willy Marbella.

Marbella, together with other leaders of the fisherfolk group Pamalakaya, Unyon ng Mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura, Amihan women peasant federation, Anakpawis party list, Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) and other militant organizations under the umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan led protesters in burning 1,500 photos of the President, whom they described as the no.1 class enemy of Filipino farmers.

Marbella said aside from genuine land reform program and justice to all victims of Mendiola Massacre and political repression, the farmers are also calling for the immediate passage of Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) or House Bill 3059.

The KMP leader asserted that GARB so far is the only progressive proposed piece of agrarian reform bill in the entire history of Congress. He said the heart and soul of GARB is free land distribution to all landless, land-lacking and willing-to-till farmers all over the country, which is not present in any previous agrarian reform laws and programs in the Philippines including CARP.

Marbella said just compensation will be given to landowners, except those involving sullied landholdings, or land holdings acquired to fraud, deception, intimidation, or the use of force or violence, and landholdings whose landowners employ oppressive and exploitative practices on their tenants, agricultural workers or other farmers tilling the land.

He added that enlightened landlords will be allowed to maintain five hectares under GARB provided that they will till the land and will not employ and exploit landless farmers or agricultural workers. “The implementation of genuine land reform and the passage of GARB as a social justice legislative agenda were envisioned by the farmers who joined the march to Mendiola 22 years ago. Please allow us to set the record straight that the farmers, including the victims of Mendiola Massacre did not demand for the bogus, anti-farmer and pro-landlord CARP,” the KMP stressed.

After their 7-day camped out at the Ministry of Agrarian Reform (now Department of Agrarian Reform or DAR), from January 15-21, 1987 on January 22, leaders and members of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), numbering about 15,000 decided to march from the agrarian reform office to Liwasang Bonifacio and then to Mendiola.

In Mendiola, military and police elements open fired and peppered the farmers and their sympathizers with bullets. Thirteen marchers, mostly farmers from Central Luzon and Southern Tagalog regions were killed and identified as Danilo Arjona, Leopoldo Alonzo, Adelfa Aribe, Dionisio Bautista, Roberto Caylao, Vicente Campomanes, Ronilo Dumanico, Dante Evangelio, Angelito Gutierrez, Rodrigo Grampan, Bernabe Laquindanum, Sonny Boy Perez and Roberto Yumul.

Aside from the 13 farmers who were killed by state security forces, reports also said 39 marchers sustained gunshot wounds and 32 sustained minor injuries. #

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