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Filipino People Rise to Resist Fascism and Defend Human Rights on International Human Rights Day

Filipino People Rise to Resist Fascism and Defend Human Rights on International Human Rights Day

 

Washington D.C. – BAYAN USA DC-MD-VA commemoration of the 71st Human Rights Day, alongside allies in the People over Profit, Planet Over Profit Action.

 

The well-known resilience of the Filipino people is not inherent but derived from years of resistance against oppression.  Just as Filipinos fought the US-Marcos regime, the Filipino people continue to fight back against the U.S.-Duterte regime. As basic human rights are violated and lives are stolen, the imperative to oust this regime is urgent. But beyond mere survival, Filipinos have always fought for liberation. We must intensify and elevate this revolutionary legacy to smash the power of the oligarchs and build a new government that reflects the aspirations of the people. 

Today, on International Human Rights Day, let us all honor the contributions of those who have fought to defend the basic human rights of peasants, workers, women and children, and have been abruptly taken from this world at the hands of the state. According to Philippine human rights organization Karapatan, more than 293 people have been targeted and extrajudicially killed by the government forces and this will only increase with his counterinsurgency program Oplan Kapanatagan intensified through Executive Order 70. In addition, there are nearly 30,000 people killed in the “drug war.”

Karapatan also counts more than 629 political prisoners, with 382 of them arrested under Duterte’s regime. Let us also continue to demand for their immediate release, especially because their alleged charges are false and lack any evidence.  We call for the release of peace advocates and peace negotiators in the Philippines, namely, Rey Claro Casambre, Vic Ladlad, Renante Gamara, and among others who were illegally arrested, in violation of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG).

Though the peace talks between the Government Republic of the Philippines(GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines(NDFP) was halted soon after Duterte declared Martial Law in Mindanao, we must continue to push to resume negotiations to address the root causes of the armed conflict which would ultimately address the massive poverty, landlessness, and need for self-sustainability of the Philippines and the Filipino people. There is not only hope for a better Philippines but a detailed roadmap, which can be seen if one just takes a look at the full comprehensive program outlined by the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms- CASER.

This is what the Philippines could be. This is what the National Democratic movement is fighting for. As Duterte continues down the violent fascist path through the drug war and Oplan Kapanatagan, he is simultaneously digging his own grave. As the death-toll rises, more and more people who have never thought of themselves as activists are drawn to join a movement that seeks to dismantle the current state of the Philippines and build a new state that does not utilize repression to maintain its power. They want to be part of something much larger than themselves. Today, on International Human Rights Day, let us not only remember those who have been martyred by the political turmoil in the Philippines, let us continue what they were fighting for and take the necessary steps to grow the movement for National Democracy – national industrialization, genuine agrarian reform – a self-sufficient sovereign Philippines!

Brandon Lee is a survivor of an attempted killing by the Philippine State because of his human rights work in the Cordilleras; he is resilient and will continue his path towards recovery!  Let us continue supporting him and his family by donating HERE 

International Human Rights Day Greetings from Brandon Lee:

 

 

Fight Tyranny! Resist Duterte’s dictatorship!

Stop the Killings! Stop the Attacks!

Justice for Brandon Lee! Justice for All!

Free All Political Prisoners!

End Martial Law in Mindanao Now! End Oplan Kapanatagan, MO 32, and EO 70!

 

BAYAN-USA is an alliance of 29 progressive Filipino organizations in the U.S. representing students, scholars, women, workers, artists, and youth. As the first and largest international chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN-Philippines), BAYAN-USA serves as an information bureau for the national democratic movement of the Philippines and as a center for educating, organizing, and mobilizing anti-imperialist and progressive Filipinos in the U.S.  For more information, visit www.bayanusa.org.

BAYAN USA “Updates from the Philippines” on Apex Express Radio 94.1 KPFA

BAYAN USA’s “Updates from the Philippines” segment was featured on Apex Express Radio show explores President Duterte’s “accomplishments” in the Philippines at his mid-term of 3yrs and what people are doing to stop him in his tracks from completing a full term as the year comes to a close.

Listen as it opens the show, and continue listening to hear more about the Sri Lankan Presidential elections results splitting the country across ethnic lines. 

Donate to the #SaveBrandonLee campaign here

 

BAYAN USA Condemns Duterte’s Counterinsurgency Raids & Attacks in Negros, Samar, and Metro Manila

 

For Immediate Release

Contact:  Rhonda Ramiro, Chairperson, chair@bayanusa.org

Nikole Cababa, Secretary General, secgen@bayanusa.org

Oct 31, 2019

BAYAN USA Condemns Duterte’s Counterinsurgency Raids & Attacks in Negros, Samar, and Metro Manila

BAYAN-USA condemns the recent spate of raids of regional offices of Gabriela, BAYAN MUNA and the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW) and the mass arrest of at least 60 people in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental.  Combined state forces involved in the raids include elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), and Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), who implemented this coordinated attack on progressive organizations, dubiously accused of being communist fronts. 

The increased crackdown on activists and critics of the Duterte regime is part of the ongoing counterinsurgency program, Oplan Kapanatagan and Memorandum Order 32 (MO 32).  Oplan Kapanatagan, roughly translated as “Operation Plan Stability,” is the consolidated effort of the regime to use a “whole of nation” approach in implementing the program, by directing all government agencies to carry out counter-insurgency tactics that result in trampling on the civil liberties of civilians, including activists.  

“Duterte is desperately resorting to mass raids and arbitrary arrests to silence dissent. These gestapo-style tactics are terrorizing communities and will only result in more global condemnation of his fascist regime,” said BAYAN-USA Chairperson Rhonda Ramiro.

Among those arrested in the raids included 40 members of Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU)/May First Movement, Nilo Rosales of the Kilusang Mayo Uno, and Aldrin de Cerna of the Kilusang Mayo Uno, John Milton Lozande and Danny Tabura of the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW), Proceso Quiatchon of the human rights group Karapatan, Anne Krueger of Paghimutad (alternative media outlet) and six minors.  In Metro Manila, as early as 5:00AM in the morning, the home of GABRIELA Metro Manila spokesperson Cora Agovida and her husband, KADAMAY (urban poor association) Metro Manila leader Michael Tan Bartolome was raided while state forces took their two children (age 2, age 10) into the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). 

“It is no surprise that this raid took place in Negros, also known as the ‘Sugar Bowl’ of the nation. Negros is home to the largest and some of the most lucrative sugarcane plantations in the Philippines, yet farmers and workers in Negros face deep poverty, hunger, and extreme exploitation. Clearly, Duterte and his supporters oppose any threats to their profits, and they are cracking down on workers and progressive organizations that have formed to address these issues and fight for long-term change,” stated Ramiro.

The raids in Bacolod City are just the latest in a long string of military counterinsurgency operations, which are becoming more frequent. Last November, Memorandum Order 32 (MO 32) was issued by Duterte to deploy more AFP and PNP troops to Negros, Bicol, and Samar to fully implement its state terror program to “suppress lawless violence and acts of terror. ” On October 26, the AFP Central Command and 8th Infintry Division conducted “surgical air strikes” dropping 500 pounds worth of bombs on Northern Samar communities in an attempt to wipe out the New People’s Army (NPA) in the region. In reality, the result has been de-facto martial law conditions throughout the country, with farmers and families afraid to leave their homes in fear of being tagged as NPA, separated from their land and livelihood, and vulnerable to harassment, surveillance, illegal arrests, and extrajudicial killings at the hands of state forces. Under the Duterte regime, there have been at least 87 politically-motivated killings of unarmed civilians

“Duterte’s dirty tricks will never silence the growing movement for change in the Philippines. His fascist tactics will simply fuel the fire of the movement building for his ouster,” said Ramiro. “At the same time, we also hold the U.S. government accountable for Duterte’s raids, illegal arrests and extrajudicial killings, because the U.S. continues to fund, equip and collaborate with Duterte’s death squads. We condemn and demand an end to all support for the Duterte regime.”

BAYAN-USA calls on all of our member organizations and allies to stand with Negros and Samar, and launch mass protests to condemn the state terror committed by the Duterte regime.  We demand an end to Duterte’s war economy and counterinsurgency tactics funded and guided by U.S. aid to crackdown on activists in the Philippines to the tune of $193.5 million last year alone.  We stand united as part of the national democratic movement fighting for national independence, true democracy, genuine agrarian land reform, and national industries that would provide living wage jobs, a sustainable economy, and improve the lives of majority of the population composed of landless peasants and workers.  We will continue to struggle alongside our kababayan in the Philippines to expose and oppose state fascism and dictatorship, and fight for our motherland to be free!

#DefendNegros  #ActivismIsNotACrime  #EndStateFascism

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BAYAN-USA is an alliance of 29 progressive Filipino organizations in the U.S. representing students, scholars, women, workers, artists, and youth. As the first and largest international chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN-Philippines), BAYAN-USA serves as an information bureau for the national democratic movement of the Philippines and as a center for educating, organizing, and mobilizing anti-imperialist and progressive Filipinos in the U.S. For more information, visit www.bayanusa.org

 

Source

 

Source: Defend Negros

Among arrested are:

  1. John Milton “Ka Butch” Lozande, former fourth nominee of Anakpawis Party-list and Secretary-General of National Federation of Sugaw Workers (NFSW);
  2. Danny Tabura, leader of NFSW;
  3. Aldrin Dela Cerna, organizer of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas – Negros (KMP Negros);
  4. Noli Rosales, labor leader of Kilusang Mayo Uno;
  5. Romulo Bito-on, Jr, leader of Bayan Muna Party-list;
  6. and his wife Mermalyn; 
  7. May-anne Krueg of Paghimutad Media group in Negros
  8. Proceso Quiatchon, human rights defender of Karapatan-Negros; and
  9. Members of Teatro Obrero and Teatro Bungkal cultural group.

 

Brandon Lee, Survivor of Brutal U.S.-Duterte Regime, Defies Assassination Attempt to Arrive Safely to the Bay Area

Press Statement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 27, 2019

Reference: Rhonda Ramiro, Chairperson, chair@bayanusa.org

 

Brandon Lee, Survivor of Brutal U.S.-Duterte Regime, Defies Assassination Attempt to Arrive Safely to the Bay Area

BAYAN-USA is overjoyed to welcome Brandon Lee safely back to the United States after his medical airlift from the Philippines to San Francisco, CA. Brandon’s return was made possible by his courageous will to survive, and the outpouring of public support to save his life after he was shot by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) 54th Infantry Battalion in the Cordillera region of the Philippines on August 6, 2019.  We thank everyone who contributed to his safe return through donations, fundraising events, phone calls to government officials, educational efforts to raise awareness of the human rights situation in the Philippines especially under the US-Duterte regime, and organizing to save Brandon Lee and hold his perpetrators accountable. We must continue the campaign to ensure the safety of Brandon and his family and for his full recovery. 

 

“While we are ecstatic that Brandon has come back to San Francisco alive, we are dismayed that he returned with bullets still lodged in his body–bullets that were shot by the AFP but supplied by the over $193.5 million dollars in so-called aid that U.S. provides to the Philippine military and police,” said Rhonda Ramiro, BAYAN-USA Chair.  “As Filipinos in the United States, we must hold accountable both the Duterte regime, which is hunting down environmental activists and human rights defenders like Brandon, and the U.S. government, which is funding, equipping and training the death squads of Duterte and other fascists around the world. The U.S. knowingly supplies this aid to Duterte despite the over 30,000 people killed in his drug war, the more than 30 environmental defenders slaughtered in 2018 alone, and the 400 farm workers, faith leaders, lawyers, trade union organizers and other human rights defenders like Brandon who have survived assassination attempts by the Philippine military, police and paramilitary units,” stated Ramiro.

 

The level of impunity has risen to new heights under the Duterte regime. De-facto martial law blankets the whole country under the U.S.-designed counterinsurgency program Oplan Kapanatagan and Executive Order 70, which implements a “whole of nation” approach to suppressing the movement against Duterte. “‘Whole of nation’ means weaponizing the government’s entire civilian bureaucracy, treating unarmed civilians and activists like Brandon as combatants, turning health and social services into intelligence-gathering mechanisms, turning overseas embassies and consulates into Philippine police outposts, turning schools and hospitals into military encampments,” continued Ramiro. “We are thankful that Brandon is a survivor and not yet another person added to the death toll under the U.S.-Duterte regime. It took a movement of people from all walks of life to save Brandon Lee, and it will take a movement to change the rotten system in the Philippines into one that Brandon was fighting alongside the Filipino people for–one that provides genuine freedom and democracy, one that truly benefits the whole country,” ended Ramiro.

 

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(For US $ aid See ICHRP reference)