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GMA! Sorry is not enough! Resign or be ousted!

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Join BAYAN USA and USA 4 GMA Resignation for an International Day of Action calling for the immediate end to the illegitimate presidency of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005, 4:00 pm

In front of the San Francisco Philippine Consulate
447 Sutter St.
San Francisco, California 94108
(get off at Powell BART station, walk 4 blocks up Powell, turn right on Sutter)

Since her ascendance to the office in early 2001, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has driven the Philippines down a path of extreme debt, hunger, poverty and state terror. In 2004, the GMA administration declared the entire nation under a fiscal crisis. The current Philippine economic crisis however is a mere result of the President’s unrelenting puppetry to the U.S. that continues to champion imperialist globalization policies. These include the deregulation and privatization of basic services such as oil, water and power, as well as the liberalization of important industries like mining. In line with her anti-people austerity measures, she imposed the Value Added Tax (VAT). She has refused to heed the call of the workers for a P125 across the board increase in wages, the call of peasants and farm workers for genuine land reform. As Filipinos in the U.S., we have a responsibility to support our families back home who deserve a President that will advance their need for decent livelihood and social justice.

While the remittances of Filipinos in the U.S. (over 8 billion just last year) and other migrant Filipinos has kept the Philippine economy from completely crumbling, GMA has done nothing to protect immigrant Filipinos in the U.S. against the blatant racist attacks of the Bush administration. While GMA is the first to open up Philippine land and seas to Bush’s war of terrorism, she lifts not one finger to protest Bush’s scapegoating and mass firing of Filipino airport screeners and deportation and inhumane treatment of hundreds of Filipino immigrants.

At present, the U.S-backed Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo regime has surpassed the Marcos dictatorship in the number of human rights violations. Political killings of activists and fascist measures against the people are on the rise.

Since January 2005 alone, at least 39 leaders and members of Bayan Muna, BAYAN, Anakpawis, Kilusan Magbubukid ng Pilipinas and GABRIELA, as well as human rights lawyers, church people, peasants and innocent civilians have been killed by military and paramilitary forces. Hundreds more have been illegally detained, abducted, and/or tortured. The November 16th 2004 massacre of at least 14 unarmed farm workers and hundreds more wounded in Hacienda Luisita has signified the newest wave of state-sponsored terror, with the biggest targets of human rights violations being human rights defenders themselves.

The GMA administration’s silence and inaction on these atrocities indicates it officially sanctions the repression. To further suppress the people, Arroyo, staying true to her U.S. imperialist master allows the continuous flow of U.S. troops into the country, mocking Philippine sovereignty. She has taken the blueprint from the U.S. Patriot Act and Homeland Security Act and is herself pushing the equally anti-people “Anti-Terrorism Bill” which promises to further repress the people’s right to dissent.

Now, the people are once again confronted with the bankruptcy and illegitimacy of her regime with the recent jueteng (illegal lottery) and corruption scandals, and now with the unraveling of the taped conversations with Commissioner of Elections Virgilio Garcilliano that directly links President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to massive electoral fraud.

The Filipino people have had enough! We, Filipinos in the United States, demand her immediate resignation and support the mounting call for her ouster, if she refuses to step down.

Escalating human rights violations in the Philippines urges action in NYC

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NEW YORK–Over 40 concerned Filipinos, human rights advocates, and cause-oriented activists gathered last Thursday, June 16, 2005 at the United Nations Church Center in Manhattan to listen as members from the New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines

(NYCHRP) delivered a comprehensive situationer on the record-breaking rate of human rights violations under the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) regime.

“Blood” was the word that soaked into the audience’s minds as NYCHRP member Berna Ellorin reported back on her recent stay in the Philippines. The blood of activists, human rights lawyers, journalists, and priests to be exact.

“Political killings and targeting of activists are on the rise,” Ellorin presented. “In 2005 alone, 39 members of cause-oriented groups, human rights lawyers, priests, and human rights advocates have been killed by military and para-military groups. All of these victims were members of or affiliated with Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, or BAYAN, a national, multi-sectoral alliance of people’s organizations fighting for social change,” Ellorin explained, also pointing to the big blue BAYAN flag on the wall, of which NYCHRP is also a member organization. “GMA has driven the country deeper into a chronic fiscal crisis, and dissenting voices are apparent. But with the US-backed mandate touting ‘a war against terror’, GMA has the used the rhetoric of Bush’s war to quash all vocally critical of her administration by conveniently equating the work of genuine and sincere leaders for social change with terrorism.”

NYCHRP cited examples of rising state terror in areas such as Hacienda Lusista, a sprawling sugarcane plantation and sugar mill factory located in Tarlac, where a massacre resulted last November 2004 when military forces sprayed bullets towards over 1000 unarmed farm workers on strike, killing 14 and wounding hundreds more. Since the massacre, many more individuals supporters of the ongoing strike have been targetted for assasination, including Fr. William Tadena as well as UN judge ad litem and the Philippines’ preeminant human rights attorney Romeo Capulong.

“The data adds up. This is state terror. This is martial law all over again. Only instead of activists getting locked up like before, they are shot in broad daylight,” stated Rusty Fabunan, a member of the NYCHRP panel who also answered questions from the audience.

Audience members were also keen on relating anti-terrorist measures in the US such as the Patriot Act and Homeland Security Act, as the prototypes GMA has adapted when pushing for her Anti-Terrorism Bill in the Philippines. They also could not avoid drawing the conclusion that state-sponsored terror from US-backed governments such as the GMA administration is the unseen and unpublicized extension of Bush’s so-called war against terror overseas.

“It was a powerful program,” stated Bill Doar of the International Action Center, headquartered in NYC. “It was especially important for us Americans to learn about another war overseas (in the Philippines) that the US government is just as much responsible for as in the war in Iraq. Only this one hardly anyone knows about.”

NYCHRP also pointed out the role of BAYAN in not one, but both People Power ousters that kicked two corrupt presidents out of office. “The Filipino people have proven more than once what the power of the people can accomplish. This is precisely what threatens the GMA administration into resorting to state-sponsored terror tactics to eliminate those who are actively exposing the corruption and inutility of her regime,” Fabunan challenged.

“I left informed AND inspired,” added Dasaw Floyd of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, especially after learning about a developing campaign in the Philippines for the resignation of GMA. “A repressive state that refuses to serves the basic interests of the majority of people, such as that of GMA, is the worst violator of human rights.”

NYCHRP also spoke extensively about the upcoming International Solidarity Mission to the Philippines in August 2005. “BAYAN, along with other concerned convening people’s organizations in the Philippines, are organizing an internationally-coordinated fact-finding mission to expose to the world the real horrors that have accumulated with regards the GMA’s criminal negligence on basic human rights”, Ellorin continued. “The findings of the mission will be made public shortly upon return of the US delegation.”

Audience members also united with the program’s final call for increased and coordinated solidarity action coming from New Yorkers to spread awareness on and support the campaign to stop the killings of activists in the Philippines. In line with NYCHRP’s work locally in New York, a Philippine Solidarity Committee will be developed to involve non-Filipinos with an interest in advocating and supporting human rights in the Philippines.

“Many Americans still remember the days of the old Martial Law under the Marcos dictatorship. It was atrocious then and in many ways even more atrocious now. Reviving the international support coming from human rights advocates from the United States back then is integral to pressuring for substantial change this time around as well.” Ellorin ended.


Berna Ellorin
New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP)

BAYAN USA joins nationwide calls for immediate resignation of crisis ridden President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on the anniversary of June 12, 1898

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On this day, June 12th, 2005, we celebrate the centuries long struggle for true independence and sovereignty by the Katipunan who defeated Spanish colonialism in 1898. We uncover the hijacking of our people’s victory through the Treaty of Paris and the Spanish-American war which set the foundation for U.S. political and economic domination of our country which is still fully in place today.

We also recognize the Filipino people’s continued fight for national liberation against the early onslaught of U.S. colonization and continued U.S. occupation. Though Emilio Aquinaldo made the so-called Kawit “proclamation of independence” on June 12, 1898, this independence was to only come, “under the protection of the Mighty and Humane North American nation.” This “protection” was to ensure that the Philippines became the first colony of an emerging U.S. empire claiming more than a million Filipino lives in the brutal Philippine American War (1899-1912+). This served as the bloody stage for the Benevolent Assimilation of the Filipino people.

Today, a National Day of Mourning is called recognizing the horrid conditions of our homeland. More than a hundred years later, we clearly see the continuation of what it means to be under the protection of the “mighty and humane American nation” under the watch of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. GMA has ordered record human rights violations against the Filipino people under the banner of Bush’s War of Terrorism in Asia.

Without hesitation, she has exceeded the brutality of the Marcos dictatorship utilizing U.S. military presence, arms and training from U.S. Special Forces. Rather than demanding foreign aid to feed our people, GMA requests aid to develop a military arsenal that torments and kills our own people. According to a World Policy Institute report, “between 2001 and 2005, the Philippines received $145.8 million in Foreign Military Financing and another $11.5 million in military training, for a total of more than $157.3 million. Manila is slated to receive more U.S. taxpayer dollars totaling $20 million in military aid and training in 2006.”

The result has recorded more human rights violations and an unseen level of state terror which placed the Philippines as the #1 most dangerous country in the world for journalists. Also priests, lawyers and human rights advocates, women’s leaders, farmers, workers and students are under constant threat of assassination as seen almost every other day in our homeland.

Joining the 2005 International Solidarity Mission in the Philippines, BAYAN USA will generate international awareness and a national congressional strategy to uphold the call for U.S. troops out of the Philippines by. This August we will join delegations to investigate Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac, Mindoro, Samar, Sulu and other areas terrorized by the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Many of these places are under the violent command of military leaders like recently promoted General Jovita Palparan who is responsible for the outright killings of many beloved community leaders.

Combined with tape recorded proof of election fraud, ordered by GMA and revealing investigations into her husband and son’s involvement in illegal gambling rackets, swelling populations of Filipinos have already lost any hint of integrity and credibility in the U.S. educated president.

Everyday struggling Filipinos are realizing that only by having a truly democratic government representative of the workers, peasants, working professionals and nationalist business people will the country be able to implement a genuine land reform and true national industrialization (today, the Philippines cannot even mass produce a simple hammer while we have all the raw materials!). Backward GMA policies and programs only aggravate and worsen widespread poverty and misery of the people.

As our centuries long fight for true independence continues, we link arms and raise fists to celebrate on June 12, 2005 because we recognize the role in our history of this continuing struggle for historical truth, real independence, national liberation and genuine democracy. We embrace the true spirit of Philippine independence which is stronger than ever as can be seen in mass mobilizations, this moment, in the Philippines condemning and demanding…

GMA Resign Now!
End U.S. military occupation! U.S. troops Out Now!
Justice for Human Rights victims and end to U.S. sponsored state terror!
Support the 2003 International Solidarity Mission in the Philippines
Renew Peace Talks between the GRP and NDFP!
Just and Lasting Peace in the Philippines!
Long live international Solidarity with Iraq, Palestine and all our allies resisting U.S led terror and occupation!

New York Filipinos call for emergency summit as rate of human rights violations in the Philippines worsens

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NEW YORK–An unprecedented death toll of over 35 political killings of human rights activists, lawyers, priests, and members of various cause-oriented organizations in the Philippines since January 2005 has given rise to international action from compatriots abroad. In response, the New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP), a human rights action group involved in monitoring human rights activity in the Philippines, will be sponsoring an emergency human rights summit in New York City. The event will take place Thursday, June 16th, 6pm at the United Nations Church Center, 777 UN Plaza, corner of 44th St and 1st Avenue in Manhattan.

“Filipinos in the United States need to know that there is very much an undeclared martial law in effect back home,” states Berna Ellorin of NYCHRP. “The onslaught of the Hacienda Luisita massacre this past November, where over one thousand unarmed sugarcane workers on strike were met with bullets by the Philippine National Police in Tarlac, has signified the rise of unabated state terrorism and human rights atrocities under the Macapagal-Arroyo regime. Most of these HR victims are members of progressive, cause-oriented, and openly-critical groups legitimately struggling for social change, such as Bayan Muna, BAYAN, Karapatan, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), and Gabriela. The trend now shows that public dissenters to government are not only subject to harassment, but abduction, illegal detainment, torture, and more often than not death by gunshot in broad daylight. Such were the cases for BAYAN-Ilocos Region secretary-general Romy Sanchez, Hacienda Luisita strike supporter Fr. William Tadena, Ernesto Bang of the progressive partylist AnakPawis, and human rights lawyer Felidito Dacut to name a few.

“The human rights violations at present are graver and more frequent than that of the time of the Marcos dictatorship. We are calling this summit in light of a silent Philippine president and censored press, who are playing dumb and have kept mum despite the skyrocketing number of deaths and disappearances of their own countrymen,” adds Ramon Yusin. Yusin, a member of NYCHRP and the New York chapter of ANAKBAYAN, a national youth organization in the Philippines also added, “GMA’s administration not only takes home the prize for worst track record in securing human rights for the Filipino people since her rise to office back in 2001, but her no holds barred, open-door policy for letting more and more U.S. troops back in the Philippines under the pretext of Bush’s war against terrorism also poses a serious threat to the state of human rights for the Filipino people.”

NYCHRP, as a member organization of BAYAN-USA, a multi-sectoral alliance of Filipino organizations in the U.S., is also fielding prospective U.S. delegates for the upcoming International Solidarity Mission (ISM) this coming August 12th in the Philippines. The purpose of the ISM is to bring international attention to the Philippine human rights situation by sending fact-finding teams to five regions. The specific regions were chosen because those areas have tracked the largest number of human rights violations in recent years.

“U.S.-based Filipinos and Americans critical of this ongoing international war must begin to examine how it translates concretely into machineries of state terror in countries like the Philippines, where U.S.-backed regimes such as that of Macapagal-Arroyo enact red-baiting tactics and promote anti-terror hysteria in order to inflict terror upon and silence legitimate people’s movements. Just as the Marcos’ Martial Law provided reason for the influx of U.S. solidarity and international pressure against a fascist regime, the time has come again for a new generation of U.S. solidarity to link arms with the Filipino people against state terror under a new dictatorship,” Yusin ended.

For more information on the ISM 2005 or the upcoming summit, contact NYCHRP care of Berna Ellorin at

Berna Ellorin
New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP)