Tag Archives: National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzalez

Pamalakaya assails Red exporting tag

By Gerry Albert Corpuz and Krelin Montenegro

MANILA, Philippines-The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya), a member of the International League of People’s Struggle (ILPS) assailed on Saturday the Philippine government’s claim that the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) was sending communist cadres in place like India and Thailand under the banner of the league.

“This is too much. This brazen and bizarre state terrorism campaign of Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzalez and NICA director general Pedro Cabuay should be condemned to the highest level. We demand the two terrorist officials of the Manila government to retract their statements, issue public apologies here and abroad and refrain from making further outrageous claims based on and mobilized by the doctrines of national security and global terrorism,” said Pamalakaya national chair and ILPS fisherfolk representative Fernando Hicap in a press statement.

The Pamalakaya leader said ILPS is an international assembly of 350 progressive and democratic organizations from 50 countries fighting for the collective rights and interest of the working peoples of the world.

“It is the Philippine government who is exporting its state terrorism campaign against Filipino progressives abroad by spreading these malicious claims and false allegations in the name of US led terrorism all over the world and in the name of national security doctrine in the name of modern day global slavery and oppression,” added Hicap.

Pamalakaya said it had participated in various international conferences and gatherings under the banner of ILPS not to export cadres and train local insurgents but to promote international solidarity through sharing of Filipino fisherfolk issues and struggles in the Philippines and support their peers’ struggles in other parts of the world through campaigns, mobilizations and other form of advocacy.

The militant group said it had been to India twice for international gatherings opposed to World Trade Organization and free trade liberalization in 2005 and 2008, and had been to Thailand in 2002 once and thrice in 2009 not to export communist rebels but to discuss the impact of trade liberalization on fisheries, share experiences on disaster preparedness and express sectoral views on the ASEAN Human Rights charter.

Pamalakaya said it is planning to file appropriate criminal and administrative charges against Secretary Gonzalez and Cabuay and that they will soon consult their lawyers about what charges shall be filed against the two security officials.

For a start, the group said it will ask the 350-member organizations of the ILPS in 50 countries to declare the two Philippine defense officials persona-non-grata in their respective countries and issue statements denouncing the Manila government’s claim against the ILPS to high heaven.

In 2008, Pamalakaya attended the 3rd General Assembly of the ILPS in Hong Kong. During the assembly, Pamalakaya sponsored a resolution urging the Philippine government to stop all offshore mining activities in the country.

The resolution was signed by 350 member organizations of the ILPS that include social activists and respected leaders of people’s movements in the United States, Canada, Italy, Turkey, Belgium, United Kingdom, Germany, India, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, Iran and Brazil to mention a few.

Last year, Pamalakaya attended a fisherfolk conference in Bangkok, Thailand which was sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN).

During the conference, Pamalakaya and ILPS-Philippine chapter of the league conducted a petition signing that urged FAO officials to investigate the left-and right destruction of food and fish baskets in the Philippines by the Macapagal-Arroyo government through privatization and anarchic conversion of agricultural lands and fishing areas by foreign monopolies and their domestic partners in the country. The petition was supported by food security groups in the US, North and South America, Italy, France and countries from Central, South and East Asia. #

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“There’s money for Italian planes, but no funds for fishers’ subsidy”- Group

By Gerry Albert Corpuz and Kremlin Montenegro

MANILA, Philippines-The left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) assailed on Monday the $ 13 million contract the Department of National Defense (DND) inked with an Italian aircraft manufacturer, while it continues to ignore the demand of El Nino stricken fisherfolk for a four-month production and economic subsidies to mitigate the impact of the prolonged drought in the country.

“Malacanang and the defense department allocated 13 million in green bucks or roughly P 598 M of taxpayers’ money for the purchase of 18 SF-260 planes from the Italy while ignoring the fact that thousands of El Nino affected fishermen are in dire need of support funds to resume production and mitigate the economic impact of extreme heat besetting the country,” said Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said in a press statement.

The contract between the Italian manufacturer Alenia Aermacchi S.p.A was approved in 2008, but the firm started assembling SF-260 planes only late last year due to undisclosed complications. According to Teresa Parian, chief operating officer of Aerotech Industries Philippines Inc. (AIPI), the Italian manufacturer’s local partner, said the DND agreed to reconstitute the project and to obtain fresh mandate from government in late 2009.

“Can we use the training planes to fish for livelihood? Can it perform miraculous cloud seedings that would soon produce heavy rainfalls of economic subsidies and hunger mitigation measures? The people’s hard earned taxes are spent on white elephant projects like the 13 million dollar Italian training planes,” Hicap lamented.

The procurement of 18 SF-260 planes from Italy is part of the long-delayed modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). According to the executive summary of the AFP modernization plan, in order for the Philippine Air Force (PAF) to have respectable air defense system, the PAF has to acquire a minimum of two squadrons of multi-role fighter aircraft. The SF-260 will cost the government $ 700,000 each P 32 million each.

“This Republic of war freak officials like President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and defense Secretary Norberto Gonzalez is engaged in avant-garde wastage of people’s money in the name of bureaucratic corruption and in the service of their militarist agenda and obsession for bloody war. This 13 million dollar plane deal is grossly inimical to national interest, people’s welfare and strong cry for social justice,” said Pamalakaya.

Pamalakaya last month submitted to the Department of Agriculture (DA0 and the Laguna Lake Development their demand for a P 10,000 per month economic and production subsidy to fishing families affected by the El Nino phenomenon.

The group had said the government should mobilize the P 1.7 billion El Nino budget allotted last year and the calamity funds of provincial and local government units to provide relief to red tide and fish kill stricken areas all over the country. The Pamalakaya fisherfolk alliance had also urged senators and congressmen to donate their remaining salaries from March 1 to June 30, including unspent portions of their pork barrel to fisherfolk and farmer victims of El Nino.

The group said the public could generate P 40,425 each from each district congressman. If there are 220 district congressmen, the fund which could be raised would be P 8,893,500 per month or P 35.57 million for four months. There are 23 senators at present, and each senator also receives
P 40,425 per month or P 929,775 for all senators. If they senators decide to donate their salaries to El Nino victims, the amount that can be generated from senators’ salaries for next four months would be
P 3,719,100.

“If there are 243 congressmen and senators who will donate at least P 20 million of their remaining pork barrel for the year, that would amount to P 4.86 billion, excluding their salaries. All in all, the combined salaries and donated pork barrel would amount to over P 5-billion which could be of big help to affected farmers and fishermen,” Pamalakaya said.

Long marchers assailed landlessness and the war policy of GMA

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6 groups grilled Defense chief on torture of Morong 43

By Chocolate Moose Fernandez and Bb. Joyce Cabral

As the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) today sets court appearance of 43 doctors and health workers before the Court of Appeals for their writ of habeas corpus hearing, six rural based groups grilled took turns in grilling Defense Secretary and National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzalez, accusing that the latter as the mastermind, if not, one of the key security officials who gave the order to abduct and torture the 43 doctors and health workers.

In a joint statement, Danilo Ramos, secretary general of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), John Milton Lozande of Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura, Cherry Clemente of Anakpawis party list, Lito Bais, acting president of United Luisita Workers Union (ULWU), Zen Soriano of Amihan peasant women federation and Fernando Hicap, chair of the left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) said Gonzalez is the criminal mindset behind the political kidnapping, illegal arrest and detention, and day-to-day infliction of mental and physical torture on 43 medical personnel who were arrested during a raid in a resort in Morong, Rizal while conducting health seminar last week.

“The horrible tales as narrated by the victims themselves reflect the militarist mindset of the Arroyo government, the pro-Arroyo generals in the AFP and Sec. Gonzalez—the undisclosed author of counter-insurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya 1 and Oplan Bantay Laya 2,” the six militant leaders said in a statement.

“Bert Gonzalez Is Bert Gonzalez, and for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo he is untouchable and the best entities to explain why Gonzalez is untouchable is the president herself and her master in Washington D.C,” they said, short of giving a hint that the defense chief is a deployed operative of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the Philippines.

The groups said any congressional investigation or appropriate probe conducted by any government agency should have Secretary Gonzalez both as prime suspect and hostile witness. The fisherfolk leader said the case of Morong 43 can be objectively face with the inclusion of Gonzalez in the investigation and list of resource persons of the Senate, in case it paves way to the resolution authored by Senator Pia Cayetano calling for a Senate probe on the controversial case.

Likewise, the six groups said the Moro 43 case should merit the immediate and unconditional suspension if not removal of Sec. Gonzalez from his two posts—secretary of Department of National Defense (DND) and National Security Council (NSC) head, being Arroyo’s chief security adviser.

KMP, Pamalakaya, Anakpawis and the three other groups said prior to the abduction of 43 doctors and health workers, Sec. Gonzalez announced the government and the military are all set to resume the campaign of legal offensive against suspected communist leaders and aboveground groups and personalities which he believed have direct and indirect connections with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing—the New People’s Army (NPA). The directive to file criminal charges against leftwing activists and perceived leaders and members of CPP and NPA took place a week before the raid was conducted in Morong, Rizal.

Meanwhile, the six groups challenged all presidential, vice-presidential and senatorial candidates in the May 2010 elections to sign a national covenant that if they win in the elections, they will avoid a repeat of Morong 43 and that the will respect constitutionally guaranteed basic human rights and civil liberties.

The 6 militant groups noted that presidential candidates Sen. Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III and running mate Sen. Manuel Roxas of Liberal Party (LP), Manny Villar of Nacionalista Party, Richard Gordon and running mate, former MMDA chair Bayani Fernando, Lakas-Kampi vice-presidential bet Edu Manzano, independents JC de los Reyes and Nicanor Perlas and Bangon Pilipinas’ Bro. Eddie Villanueva have yet to issue official statements on the defective arrest of 43 medical persons.

The groups said the same holds true to majority of senatorial candidates, and only a handful led by Nacionalista Party (NP) guest candidates Reps. Satur Ocampo (Bayan Muna) and Liza Maza (Gabriela) and Sen. Cayetano also of NP have sent official statements condemning the arrest and torture of 43 health workers. #

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Fisherfolk organizer detained for bearing ID of Anakpawis party list

By Trinity Biglang Awa

Binangonan, Rizal- An organizer of the fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) and former chair of Anakpawis party list-Binangonan chapter illegally arrested and detained by members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Binangonan upon suspicion that the fisherfolk activist has connections with the New People’s Army (NPA) upon discovery of the party list ID in his wallet.

Early this morning, Pamalakaya organizer Ronel Arambulo, 28 was on his way to Pamalakaya-Binangonan staff house in Barangay Wawa to prepare for the relief operations to victims of typhoon Ondoy, when he was chanced upon by Binangonan police conducting an anti-drug saturation drive near the vicinity.

Reports reaching the headquarters of Pamalakaya in Quezon City said Arambulo was taken to Binangonan municipal jail on suspicion that he is a drug pusher and drug user. But when the police found out that he is an organizer of Pamalakaya and former chair of Anakpawis party list, the police told Arambulo that he should be detained because his Anakpawis ID is a proof that he has connections with the NPA and the police kept his cell phone.

Pamalakaya-vice chairperson Salvador France assailed the police for arresting their organizer and for implicating Arambulo to NPA upon the discovery of an Anakpawis party list ID.

“What is wrong with Anakpawis party list ID? That’s a legal identification that Arambulo is an open, legal and aboveground activist. Is it a crime to bear Anakpawis ID for political and legal identification? Is there a law that makes someone criminal, terrorist or unlawful if he has the ID of Anakpawis or other progressive party lists” France added.

The Pamalakaya leader said Arambulo, aside from being his group’s coordinator and organizer in Binangonan for seven years, was elected Anakpawis-Binangonan chair from 2007-2010. Last February 7, the fisherfolk organizer led the election of new set of officers of Anakpawis during its third municipal assembly in Ynares Plaza.

On February 9-10, Arambulo led the five-vehicle caravan of Pamalakaya and Save Laguna Lake Movement (SLLM) to campaign for the party list bid of Anakpawis and Makabayan coalition senatorial bets Satur Ocampo (Bayan Muna) and Liza Maza (Gabriela Women’s Party).

Prior to his arrest this morning, Arambulo was with leaders of Pamalakaya and SLMM last night in Lupang Arenda in Taytay, Rizal for a mini-proclamation rally. The fisherfolk group and the Laguna Lake alliance “miting de avance” attended by more than 2,000 fisherfolk and urban poor declared their support to progressive party lists— Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela, Kabataan Party, Act Teachers Party list and Akap Bata and endorsed the senatorial bids of Ocampo and Maza.

Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap urged Binangonan mayor Carlos “Boyet” Ynares to intervene and recall the unlawful and politically motivated arrest of Arambulo. He said Pamalakaya will not hesitate to file criminal and other appropriate charges against the Binangonan PNP if they will not free Arambulo.

“If they will not release Arambulo within the next 12 to 24 hours, we will file criminal and other appropriate charges against the leadership and members of the arresting team of PNP- Binangonan,” he added.

Hicap said Pamalakaya will also file complaint of human rights violations and other grave violations of guaranteed constitutional rights and civil liberties against PNP Binangonan over the illegal arrest and detention of Arambulo by the local police.

“We will deluge the PNP Binangonan with charges. That’s for sure. We will also ask Anakpawis party list representatives Rafael Mariano and Joel Maglunsod to have this politically motivated act of the police investigated in the House of Representatives,” the Pamalakaya official said.

Pamalakaya has dispatched a team of para-legal volunteers and will join officers and members of Anakpawis-Binangonan to conduct their own investigation and seek dialogue with Mayor Ynares. #

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Ondoy victims staged “modest caravan” to campaign for bets

By Gerry Albert Corpuz, Rey Manangan and Axel Pinpin

Antipolo City, Rizal- Typhoon Ondoy survivors and groups supporting the plight of typhoon victims today staged a 10-jeep motorcade along lake towns devastated by the super typhoon in Rizal and Laguna provinces to campaign for party lists and senatorial bets which they said will support the fight of typhoon victims in and out of Congress.

The modest fisherfolk and typhoon Ondoy victims’ motorcade dubbed Laguna Lake People’s Caravan for Social Justice and Progressive Politics was organized by the militant fishermen alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya), its Southern Luzon chapter Pamalakaya-Timog Katagalugan, Anakpawis party list, the Katipunan ng Samahang Magbubukid ng Timog Katagalugan (Kasama-TK) and the broad Save Laguna Lake Movement (SLLM).

The caravan will start in Jala-Jala, then will pass through Pilila, Tanay, Morong, Baras, Teresa, Cardona, Binangonan, Angono, Antipolo, Cainta and will end up in Lupang Arienda in Taytay, Rizal. On the second day, the Laguna wing caravan composed of two mobile propaganda teams will cover the lake areas of Sta. Cruz, Los Banos, Calamba, San Pedro and Binan on their way to Lupang Arienda, also in Taytay, Rizal.

Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said campaigners will post election materials in populated and designated areas along Laguna Lake in both Rizal and Laguna provinces. The propaganda teams embedded in the mini caravan will distribute materials and posters of progressive party list groups like Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela and Kabataan Party, as well as the campaign posters of Makabayan senatorial candidates Satur Ocampo of Bayan Muna and Liza Maza of Gabriela Women’s Party.

The Pamalakaya leader said caravan organizers will endorse the party list bids of Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela and Kabataan Party and the senatorial candidacies of Ocampo and Maza in tomorrow’s grand proclamation rally to be attended by not less than 5,000 Ondoy victims and residents of Lupang Arienda in Taytay, Rizal.

“This is politics of change in action. The people will vote base on issues and not on politics of personalities and popularity. This is the ultimate concretization of people’s electoral agenda in the May 2010 elections,” added Hicap.

For her part, Kasama-TK spokesperson Imelda Lacandazo said the modest fisherfolk caravan will also highlight the demand of Ondoy victims to stop the massive privatization and conversion of Laguna lake into an across-the-lake hub for big business and frustrate the government plans to demolish close to 100,000 fisherfolk and urban poor families in Lupang Arienda and other parts of the 90,000 hectare Laguna Lake.

Lacandazo, also one of the conveners of SLLM said nominees of party list groups Bayan Muna, Anakpawis and Gabriela, and Makabayan senatorial candidates Ocampo and Maza were also invited to personally accept the endorsement of Lupang Arienda and Laguna Lake people of their respective bids in the May 2010 elections.

“Lupang Arienda people and the rest of the victims of state sponsored disaster at the height of typhoon Ondoy in Laguna Lake are entrusting their political and electoral votes to the real servants of the poor. The progressive party lists and Reps. Ocampo and Maza will get all the support they could get from the lake people of Laguna for their unyielding commitment to the cause of the marginalized fishermen and poor folks in Laguna Lake,” Lacandazo added.

Kasama-TK said the caravan will also call for the immediate and unconditional release of 43 doctors and medical personnel arrested by state security forces last Saturday during a health seminar inside a resort in Morong, Rizal.

Officials of the 2nd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army insisted that those arrested were members of New People’s Army and were conducting training on bomb making when the 300 government troops raided the venue, arrested the health workers and brought them to Camp Capinpin in Tanay, Rizal over the weekend. With reports from Pepsi La Loma and Sarsi Pimentel

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Health group assails AFP witch-hunting

Contributed to The Pamalakaya Times

Manila, Philippines- “The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is on a witch-hunt in its desperate attempt to showcase any success of Oplan Bantay Laya!”

Health Alliance for Democracy (HEAD) directly linked the illegal arrest and detention of 43 doctors and health workers to the Arroyo regime’s counter-insurgency campaign, which over the years have targeted civilians rather than armed groups.

“After blatantly disregarding the most fundamental tenets of due process, the AFP now has the gall to prop up false charges against those whose basic rights they have violated,” said Dr. Geneve E. Rivera, HEAD Secretary-General.

HEAD is reacting to reports of the AFP information office that the raid conducted last Saturday in Morong, Rizal is “the biggest arrests of communist rebels in memory”. The AFP further alleges that Dr. Alexis S. Montes is a member of a special unit of the New People’s Army formed to liquidate former AFP general, Jovito Palparan.

“The lies being peddled by the AFP cannot hide the atrocities they have committed,” declared Dr. Rivera. “The so-called ‘NPA training camp’ is a family rest house of a respected medical consultant that has been used many times for parties and training of health workers and even medical students from various schools.”

“Dr. Alex Montes of Community Medicine Development Foundation (COMMED) is also a known surgeon and an elder of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP). He received his medical degree from the University of the East College of Medicine (Class 1976) and has since been active in community service such that he was the UCCP national coordinator for health services for twenty years (1986-2006)!”

According to HEAD, the mild-mannered and soft-spoken Dr. Montes is a far cry from the communist assassin that the AFP paints him to be.

Aside from Dr. Montes, the AFP also arrested Dr. Merry Mia of the Council for Health and Development (CHD). The 34-year-old doctor finished medicine at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila in 2001 and has been a community physician of the Council for Health and Development (CHD) since 2004. She is also the mother of two young boys, one of whom is only 11 months old.

The two doctors were actively involved during the relief operations after Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng. As such, they headed the “First Responders Training for Life Support” aimed to enable communities, through health volunteers, to be able to respond in times of calamities.

“Yet instead of recognizing their contribution and sacrifice, these people are being vilified and demonized by the AFP,” added Dr. Rivera. “Military officers like Brigadier General Jorge Segovia, Colonel Aurelio Baladad, and Lieutenant Colonel Noel Detoyato are worse than criminals for the sheer number of laws they violated in conducting their illegal arrest and detention.”

“The arrogance being shown by the AFP is reflective of the utter lack of respect for basic human rights by the Arroyo regime,” concluded Dr. Rivera, “As the end of OBL II draws near, state security forces are hard-pressed to show results.”

“The only thing they have now is their crimes against the Filipino people.

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Fisherfolk clients of 43 arrested health workers to mount 5-vehicle caravan in Rizal to press release

By Gerry Albert Corpuz, Rey Manangan and Billy Javier Reyes

Manila, Philippines-Regular fisherfolk clients of 43 doctors and health workers arrested by state security forces on Saturday in a resort in Morong, Rizal will stage a five-vehicle caravan to press for the immediate and unconditional release of whom they called “the people’s doctors and medical personnel”.

In a press statement, fisherfolk activists belonging to Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) will be joined by progressive party list group Anakpawis and Save Laguna Lake Movement (SLMM) in a 5 jeep caravan along the lake towns of Morong, Teresa, Baras, Cardona, Binangonan, Angono and Taytay all in Rizal province.

“We are their regular clients who are not charge of any single cent since time immemorial. These are doctors and health workers who take care of people’s health and they are not terrorists or bomb makers as maliciously and categorically tagged by the terrorist people in the Armed Forces of the Philippines and their criminal masters- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzalez,” said Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap in a press statement.

The five-vehicle caravan will start in Binangonan and will proceed to Morong, Barras, Teresa, Cardona, Angono and Taytay towns in Rizal. Aside from demanding the release of 43 medical personnel, Pamalakaya’s caravan will also highlight the demand of the lake people to stop all anti-fisherfolk and anti-environment projects across Laguna Lake, including the halt on demolition activities and the pullout of military troops in different areas of the lake.

The caravan will also campaign for Anakpawis party list and the senatorial bids of Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo and Gabriela Party list Rep. Liza Maza.

Pamalakaya’s Hicap asserted the arrest of 43 doctors and community based health workers is line with the legal offensive ordered by defense secretary and security adviser Gonzalez issued last week to commence the final staging of the counter-insurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya 2.

“The the arrest of 43 medical volunteers was presided by Gonzalez’s order last week for all government units to heighten its legal offensive against members of militant groups as Oplan Bantay Laya 2 ends with the term of President Macapagal-Arroyo in June 30, 2010.

Hicap said Secretary Gonzalez and the national security gang in Malacanang had agreed to pursue and intensify the fabrication of trump up charges against leaders and members of militant organizations which the military branded as front organizations of Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing the New People’s Army.

“What happen in Morong, Rizal was a wholesale political abduction, political kidnapping, gross disrespect of people’s constitutional and basic human rights and all-out political persecution done in the name of a brutal, corrupt and evil regime of Mrs. Arroyo and her extrajudicial killing republic,” the Pamalakaya leader said.#

Health workers provide free medical services and medicines to the people. They are not terrorists as what the AFP want them to appear with the public

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