Author Walden Bello avoids talking about Philippines and personal U.S. corporate funding sources at book launch: Writer denounced for condoning increased killings of community leaders

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Contact: Kawal Ulanday

As the news and media propaganda war rages with floods of government and corporate slanted views promoting war and “national security” in one contradictory breathe, the Filipino community is becoming more sharp on truth and lies.

Author Walden Bello discovered how the community will hold you accountable to the truth last week during a book launching in New York promoting his latest publication “Dilemmas of Domination: The Unmaking of the American Empire” at the Brecht Forum in Lower Manhattan. Bello spoke at length on how the civil society movement of corporate and government funded NGO’s (non-profit entities) will ultimately lead to the demise of capitalist society.

What seemed more interesting to the 50 people in attendance was the ensuing discussion which generated many pressing questions not so much related to Bello’s speech. Members of New York Committee for Human Rights (NYCHRP), and other members and friends of the local Filipino community demanded an explanation for Bello’s recent false accusations that endanger community based progressive Filipino organizations and specific BAYAN affiliated groups by recklessly grouping them with organizations placed on the U.S. international terrorist list. Several human rights advocates cited a revealing connection between Bello’s accusations which basically condone the ongoing murders of community leaders in the Philippines.

“In March alone, Victor Concepction, Abelardo Ladera, Mer Dizon, Rev. Fr. Willam Tadena and Romeo Sanchez were viciously murdered by paramilitary and other direct agents of the U.S.-Arroyo regime using U.S. paid weaponry and training,” said Berna Ellorin of NYCHRP. “He has also falsely accused Professor Jose Maria Sison of authoring a so-called ‘hit list’ which threatens his life. This blatant misinformation basically advances the Bush-GMA regime’s campaign to criminalize and label as ‘terrorists,’ those dedicated to fighting for justice and exposing corrupt government.”

“It is shameful that Bello trots around the globe claiming that his own life is in danger while he approves of the killings of courageous mothers and fathers who have decided to stand up for a dignified life instead of joblessness, slave wages or no pay, landlessness, and hunger,” said BAYAN USA Chairperson Kawal Ulanday. This is only a preview of more to come if Bello tours other cities with BAYAN USA organizations like NYCHRP. As a people’s alliance, BAYAN USA will not allow the minds of interested folks in our community to be monopolized with the ideas of “elite intellectuals” who deny the real problems of our country and make money from their own self-serving promotions and publications.

According to BAYAN USA, progressive Filipinos recognize that Bello’s attacks against the genuine people’s movement for true independence and national democracy serve the Bush/GMA regime which is responsible for the political upheavals and social crisis in the Philippines.

During the discussion, Bello could not answer specific questions about his own big money funding sources such as the Ford Foundation and Akbayan’s (Bello’s political formation) active collaboration with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police.

This moved the audience to reveal Bello as “a pseudo-progressive and a U.S. paid charlatan who would not admit whose agenda he truly serves,” added Ellorin of NYCHRP.