Author: admin


NOVEMBER 20th, 2015
REFERENCE:  Nikole Cababa, Deputy Secretary General,


BAYAN USA joins the international community in commemorating Trans Day of Remembrance by continuing the call for justice for Jennifer Laude and all victims of transphobia and transmisogyny.  With every attack on trans and gender non-conforming communities we are reminded of the increasing violence these communities face around the world and we continue to demand justice and dignity for all victims.
This year, the number of trans murders has nearly doubled, at least 22 compared to 12 last year, and most victims were trans women and people of color, such as Amber Monroe in Detroit, Taja Gabrielle DeJesus in San Francisco, and Yazmin Vash Payne in Los Angeles.  Trans people and particular trans women of color continue to suffer from state repression and violence including harassment, lack of access to safe housing & healthcare, unjust arrests and detentions, and the militarization of their neighborhoods and families.
The case of 26-year-old Filipina, Jennifer Laude, has highlighted the consequences of militarization, transphobia, and impunity in the Philippines.  Last year, U.S. Marine, Joseph Scott Pemberton was one of 3,500 American troops participating in series of joint military combat exercises between U.S. Marines and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), which ended on Oct. 10, 2014.  On October 11th, a 26 year old Filipina transgender woman, Jennifer Laude, met Pemberton in Olongapo City at a local disco bar.  The two were last seen checking into a motel room at the Celzone Lodge, and later that same evening Laude was found dead in the bathroom half-naked, her head plunged into a toilet bowl.  The police forensic report said she had scratches and bruises, bite marks and strangulation marks on her neck. An autopsy report cited the cause of death as “asphyxia by drowning.”
Only after popular protests and public outcry was Pemberton transferred to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Headquarters, Camp Aguinaldo (Quezon City) but he still remains directly under U.S. custody.  The US Embassy in Manila rejected the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) request to hand Pemberton over to Philippine authorities, citing the Visiting Forces Agreement.  Despite the overwhelming evidence and testimonies of Pemberton admitting to strangling Laude, the case remains open and he continues to use “trans panic” as justification for his murder of Laude. Policies such as the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) further exacerbate an unequal relationship between the U.S. and the Philippines, including the thousands of U.S. troops that conduct war exercises in the country only further underscores the root problem of U.S. imperialism in perpetuating violence and impunity against trans people.
We stand in solidarity with Jennifer Laude, her family, and all trans people who have been victims of violence in the U.S. and around the world.  We will continue to educate, organize, and mobilize our members, allies, and community to demand justice and self-determination for all trans victims.  We will continue to build a revolutionary movement that brings about genuine change and honors the lives of trans and gender non-conforming people.
Trans Lives Matter!
End Violence Against Trans and Gender Non-Conforming People!
Healthcare, Housing and Human Rights for Trans and Gender Non-Conforming People Now!
Justice for Jennifer Laude and for All Victims of Transphobia, Militarization, and State Violence!
Junk the VFA and EDCA! US Troops Out!

Download the Infographic Below:

Advocate: U.S. Marine Claims ‘Trans Panic’ in Murder of Trans Filipina Jennifer Laude.
Phil Star:  Marine buddy testifies Pemberton admitted choking Laude.
Inquirer: Gabriela calls for Pemberton’s conviction a year after Laude’s death.

Filipino-Americans say APEC not for the people


19 November 2015


Felipe Asuncion, BAYAN USA North East Co-Coordinator,

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New York — On November 17, 2015, Filipinos and allies mobilized in front of the Philippine Consulate in New York to expose the real conditions and effects of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), a summit held in Manila this week, twenty years after the Philippines first hosted it in 1996 in Subic.

APEC is a forum that claims to promote economic cooperation among the countries of the vast Asia-Pacific region. It was founded in 1989 and now has 21 member-states which are home to nearly 3 billion people and account for 60 percent of the global economy.

APEC holds its Economic Leaders’ Meeting (ELM) every November, among other high-profile and low-profile meetings happening throughout the year, and includes participation from countries such as United States, Canada, and Mexico. The theme for APEC this year is “Building Inclusive Economies, Building A Better World”.

APEC Fail on Workers’ Issues

Steve Miles of the allied organization International Action Center said, “Every big bank on Wall St. was based on the slave trade, and it’s no different now in the 21st century. This APEC treaty is a slave treaty. Over 20 years ago, NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) was passed. All it did was drive millions of Mexican people off their farms. What APEC is is a Pacific Ocean burgeon of NAFTA, and it’s even more deadly. APEC will not bring anything except misery to every worker, whether in New York or Manila. We oppose APEC because it’s an attack on workers.”

The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns also joined the action in solidarity to oppose APEC. Anne Beryl Naguit, NAFCON Vice President stated, “The Philippine government splurged on a budget of 10 billion Philippine pesos to host APEC and portray the illusion of progress. But instead of seeing genuine progress, we see more corruption and greed by the ruling landlords, elite businessmen, and politicians. The majority of the Filipino people continue to suffer landlessness and joblessness driving over 6000 Filipinos to leave the Philippines everyday, with many suffering from unfair labor practices, trafficking, slavery, discrimination, and criminalization. And when asked for protection or financial assistance for distressed migrant workers, the Philippine government would always say they do not have the funds, while they can spend much for APEC without even thinking twice.”

APEC’s Neoliberal Agenda

“The United States, through APEC, has aggressively pushed its agenda of neoliberal globalization into more than half of the globe. It pushed for trade and investment liberalization, deregulation, privatization, and denationalization, allowing private and foreign multi- and trans-national companies to take control of the economies of its poorer member states. In the Philippines, this prevented us from advancing national industrialization and genuine agrarian reform which could have had great potential for the country to be lifted off of poverty,” said Jenab-i Pareja, BAYAN USA North East Coordinator.

Cole Carothers, chairperson of Gabriela New York said, “The wealthy countries of APEC are feasting on the natural resources and human labor of other countries, wanting profit over people. A prime example would be the Labor Export Policy, using people and their occupations as human capital, commodifying labor into a resource. Now, 14 million Filipinos are abroad, majority of whom are women. Often times, they become vulnerable and are lured into human trafficking situations and other kinds of abuses.”

“We, in Anakbayan New Jersey, stand against the privatization of education, Labor Export Policy, and militarization of schools and communities in the Philippines and other developing nations in the name of maximizing profit with complete disregard for the peoples’ basic rights. Unfair economic strategies discussed by international formations such as the APEC are at the root of consistently increasing tuition fees, export-oriented educational system, and attacks on indigenous schools and self-sustaining communities, such as the Lumad people of Mindanao,” stated Bea Sabino, Secretary General of Anakbayan New Jersey.

Strengthening Peoples’ Solidarity vs APEC

On the eve of the APEC summit, hundreds of delegates from the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS), International Migrants Alliance (IMA), and International Women’s Alliance (IWA) joined thousands of other Filipinos and allies in the Peoples’ Campaign Against Imperialist Globalization (PCAIG) in protesting the APEC in the Philippines.

The ILPS, as the largest global alliance of anti-imperialist, progressive and democratic organizations, also just concluded its 5th International Assembly with the theme “For A Socially Just World, Strengthen the Peoples’ Solidarity and Intensify the Struggle Against Imperialist Plunder, Crisis and War”.

The action in New York is part of the bigger call to oppose the neoliberal agenda of the US.

“As people living in the number one imperialist country today, we know that the policies APEC passes are not just detrimental to the 3rd world, but also to people here, from New York to Baltimore. We see the ongoing war on poor people and people of color. We call on all people from the US to Mexico to the Philippines to resist APEC’s narrative of ‘inclusive growth and sustainability’,” Pareja said.

“The youth and the oppressed peoples must remain at the forefront of this long struggle against imperialist plunder of our homelands. We must actively participate in the peoples’ movement for genuine democracy in the Philippines and elsewhere,” ended Sabino.

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11 Years After the Hacienda Luisita Massacre, Portland Filipinos Continue to Demand Justice for the Victims and their Families


For Immediate Release

November 17, 2015

Reference: Nikki De Leon, Chair, Portland Committee For Human Rights in the Philippines (PCHRP), email:

11 Years After the Hacienda Luisita Massacre,

Portland Filipinos Continue to Demand Justice for the Victims and their Families

Portland, OR – On the 11th year anniversary of the Hacienda Luisita Massacre, Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (PCHRP) hosted a film showing of “Sa Ngalan ng Tubo” (In the name of the Sugarcane) to highlight the political repression and violent atrocities that occur in our homeland, the Philippines. The film showing was followed by a candlelight vigil honoring the martyrs and their surviving comrades. We call on our communities to demand justice for the victims and families of the massacre. We hope to not only light candles, but also the fire within us that will push us to act and call on B.S. Aquino to redistribute the Hacienda Luisita lands to its 6,000 rightful farmer beneficiaries.

11 years ago today, seven farm workers were killed while hundreds of others were injured and unlawfully arrested after police and military personnel opened fire on thousands of striking sugar workers near the gate of the Central Azucarera de Tarlac (CAT) mill in Hacienda Luisita – the controversial 6,453-hectare estate controlled for nearly five decades by one of the Philippines’ most powerful landlord families, the Cojuangco-Aquino clan. The current Philippine President, Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III, is a fifth generation scion of the Cojuangcos. 11 years later, the Hacienda Luisita Massacre remains unresolved and no investigation has been conducted nor has anyone been arrested for the murder of the farmworkers, all of whom were unarmed and within their legal right to wage a labor strike.

The Philippines is plagued by corruption that results in continued landlessness of the masses, a lack of industrialization, and the privatization of land and services. This is evident in the 10 billion pesos that politicians and businessmen pocketed from the year 2003 to 2013 by way of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), over 21,000 filipinos affected by forced eviction and demolition of communities, and the ongoing displacement of the indigenous Lumads in  communities in Mindanao.

“We understand that Land is Life. The Hacienda Luisita Massacre is a testament to the many of those who struggle and understand that their life is connected to the land. We must see these connections and see our responsibility to end U.S. imperialism that perpetuates the injustices brought onto the people in the Philippines,” Angelica Lim, PCHRP Womxns Desk Lead, stated. “PCHRP strongly supports the workers of Hacienda Luisita in commemorating the bloody massacre and their continuous struggle to fight for justice and redistribution of their land. We condemn the Aquino government for the continuous injustice against the Hacienda Luisita farmworkers,” Lim added.

LyLy Dinh, PCHRP Solidarity Committee member, offers: “Even through distances of miles and time, through this documentary, we are witnesses to the blatant murder and oppression of the Filipino people, of those who only attempt to protect their rights and land, their livelihood, something that still happens to this day. How can we then, as witnesses to such immoral acts against human rights, not be moved to act and serve, to stand in solidarity with those whose voices, bodies, and lives are silenced and taken from them every day?” Filipinos and allies in Portland stand in solidarity with the farm workers of Hacienda Luisita in their struggle for justice and genuine agrarian reform.

Justice for the Victims of the Hacienda Luisita Massacre!

B.S. Cojuanco-Aquino: Distribute HLI Lands to the Farmworkers!

Land is Life! Genuine Agrarian Reform Now!