Author: National EC

On U.S. Election Day, U.S.-Backed Militarization and Counterinsurgency Program Results in Murder of Human Rights Attorney in the Philippines

BAYAN-USA condemns the brutal killing of Attorney Ben Ramos, Secretary General of the National Union of People’s Lawyers-Negros Occidental. This cowardly murder perpetrated by hooded, motorcycle-riding gunmen was clearly politically-motivated, as Attorney Ramos represented political prisoners, responded to the victims of the “Sagay 9” massacre of farmers, and supported others facing persecution by the U.S.-funded Philippine military, paramilitary and police forces.

The manner of the slaying–a drive-by shooting– matches the pattern of hundreds of others over the past 15 years in which state-sponsored forces have been implicated. President Duterte’s fascist military and police are using the same tactics that became an epidemic under the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, drawing widespread condemnation from the broad masses of Filipino people as well as internationally from human rights organizations and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings.

The vast majority of the victims continue to be peasants, farmers, indigenous people, workers and other poor people, as well as human rights defenders including lawyers and journalists, targeted for their activism.  Attorney Ramos notably worked on the recent case of the “Sagay 9”: the massacre of nine farmers sleeping in their tents in Sagay City, Negros Occidental on October 20, who were growing food on barren lands of Hacienda Nene in a collective farming project of the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW). Despite eyewitness accounts and evidence uncovered by a detailed fact-finding mission, the perpetrators of this heinous crime remain not only at-large, but protected by President Duterte himself. The Duterte regime has chosen to deflect the blame from the military-backed private army of the Marañon landlord family of Hacienda Nene despite overwhelming evidence of their involvement, and has instead ludicrously arrested NFSW union organizers for the killings. Worse yet, Duterte is ordering the military and police to arrest or shoot even more farmers, simply for occupying land to which they are entitled through agrarian reform.

BAYAN-USA believes that farmers who dare to occupy vacant land in order to grow food for their families should be celebrated, not vilified. In the Philippines, where the masses are starving because more than 40% of the people earn barely $1 a day, those who take bold steps to sustainably cultivate land and produce food for their communities are heroes, not criminals. And people like Attorney Ben Ramos who dare to defend these unsung heroes, are also valiant heroes themselves.

On Election Day in the U.S., we remind representatives of all political parties that the $185 million in aid that the U.S. sent to the Philippines this year is funding the murder of thousands of people like Attorney Ramos, killed under President Duterte’s “war on drugs” and “war on terror.” There is no justification for the provision of one more cent to Duterte’s fascist military and police forces. BAYAN-USA pledges to relentlessly fight to end not only U.S. support for Duterte’s tyranny, but also the U.S. policies which feed oppression, exploitation and impunity in the Philippines.

 

Justice for the Sagay 9! Growing Food to Feed the Hungry Is Not a Crime!

Justice for Attorney Ben Ramos! Defend the Human Rights Defenders!

Resist Crackdown!

Trump’s Tirades Against Migrants are a Ploy to Sway the Midterm Elections

In a desperate attempt to demonize the courageous caravan of migrants from Central America, U.S. President Trump is ramping up his fascist tactics by deploying 5,000 military troops to the southern border supposedly by the end of this week, and has now claimed that he will issue an executive order to end birthright citizenship, which is protected by the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.

The long history of colonization, U.S. military intervention, and economic plunder in Latin America has resulted in the forced migration of thousands of people fleeing to the United States to seek refuge and asylum from war and mass poverty. The inhumane response of the Trump administration to migrants, especially the hundreds of migrant children still detained and separated from their families, is disgusting, cruel, and all a part of his racist and xenophobic plans for this country. As the rise in fascism trends in the world including President Duterte and the newly elected Jair Bolsonaro, so does the people’s resistance against fascism. Their continued disregard for humanity and constant human rights violations will only fuel the fire growing the movement against fascism. Let us unite to fight and smash fascism and to build a better society!

Inclusion of the Philippines in the UNHRC Does Not Reflect the Views of the Filipino People

BAYAN USA denounces the Philippines being awarded a seat in the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) on October 13, 2018 in Geneva. How can the Philippines, with an internationally notorious track record of human rights violations, especially now with President Duterte’s deadly “drug war” reaching beyond 20,000 killings, be part of the UN body “responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe”?  

The Philippine government’s response to this decision is a sure-tell sign that they will use this position in the UN HRC as a shield against further criticisms raised not only by human rights advocates but even other UN officials. In the statement, they also claim that this UN recognition is affirming the “Philippine government’s campaign against illegal drugs, corruption and criminality” as its “brand of human rights advocacy.” We reject this statement because it would be affirming that extrajudicial killings is the correct solution to solving the drug problem in the Philippines and that allowing the Philippine National Police (PNP) to murder civilians who have yet to be proven guilty of any crime is ok. By allowing such statements to go unchallenged and granting the Philippines the seat to the UN HRC, the UN seems to be invalidating itself as an international body that upholds humanitarian law and human rights conventions.

President Duterte has fueled the case against him by recently admitting that “his only sin is the extrajudicial killing” despite his administration vigorously denying said EJKs when criticized by human rights advocates. When UN officials visited the Philippines, Duterte openly threatened UN Special Rapporteur for Extrajudicial Killings Agnes Callamard and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid bin Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein, saying they should be fed to the crocodiles. Duterte also threatened to add “foreigners as human targets for Filipino soldiers,” as a response to the International People’s Tribunal (IPT) verdict finding the US-Duterte administration guilty of crimes against humanity over the “gross and systematic violations of human rights” in the Philippines. The mere fact that President Duterte withdrew the Philippines from the International Criminal Court (ICC) after a preliminary examination was to be done following the “accusation that the president and top officials had committed crimes against humanity during the deadly war on drugs,” proves that Duterte and his administration will not cooperate in any investigation into human rights violations in the Philippines–the very task the HRC is responsible for doing.  

Though these can be merely seen as “threats” and written off by his spokespersons who say “to not take him seriously,” the rising number of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines should be all the proof needed for the UN and any international body to see that President Duterte as a representative of the Philippines is not only unfit to sit on the UN Human Rights Council, but instead should be further investigated for crimes against humanity.  

Nonetheless, it is the Filipino people, not the UNHRC, that is decisive in where Rodrigo Duterte stands as far as human rights, and will hold him accountable.

Activists in New York Protest at the Philippine Consulate

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CALL to ACTION: NO to PNP Posts in US! END All U.S. Aid to PNP & Human Rights Violations!

MALAYA Movement & BAYAN USA

CALL TO ACTION

NO to PNP Posts in U.S.

END ALL U.S. Aid to PNP & Human Rights Violations

TAKE ACTION

MALAYA Movement and BAYAN USA call on our members, allies and all people who stand for human rights to take action against the Philippine National Police’s Global Community Relations Program (GPCR) and call to END U.S. funding for the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

 

  • HOLD PROTEST ACTIONS at Philippine Consulates/Embassy and condemn the fascist tactics of Duterte and his violent PNP and AFP! Express outrage at the violence enacted upon peaceful protesters in the NYC Philippine Consulate
  • CALL U.S. Representatives to voice your outrage over the PNP being allowed to have posts in the U.S. when they have been internationally condemned for committing brutal extrajudicial killings in carrying out Duterte’s “War on Drugs.” Also demand that the U.S. cut all aid (currently $186.7 Million) to the PNP and AFP due to massive human rights violations
  • EXPOSE the Trump-backed Duterte administration’s attacks on the Filipino people by hosting EDUCATIONAL WORKSHOPS on Duterte’s 3 Dirty Wars, Neoliberalism and Contractualization, and Philippine Situationers, among others.
        1. Fil-Ams Protest PNP in NYC
        2. Hear what LA Filipino community organizers have to say to the PNP and Duterte supporters’ ridiculous & reactionary comments.
        3. Balitang America coverage
  • FOLLOW @BAYANUSA_Page & @MALAYAMOVEMENT on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. VISIT BayanUSA.org & MalayaMovement.com for more Updates and actions.

 

 

BACKGROUND

On Friday, October 5th, 2018, the Philippine National Police (PNP) held a townhall at the Philippine Consulate in New York to promote its Global Police Community Relations (GPCR) program and to fundraise.  The GPCR program aims to deploy PNP to outposts in the United States allegedly in San Francisco and somewhere on the east coast. The Global PCR is a desperate attempt by the PNP and the US-Duterte regime to salvage its reputation and distort the fact that over 23,000 lives have been killed in Duterte’s anti-poor policies like Oplan Tokhang and Oplan Tambay. At the same time, it provides the PNP an opportunity to continue to harass, intimidate and surveil peace and human rights organizations, activists, and other community members based in the United States who voice criticism over Duterte’s violent and anti-people policies.  We condemn the violent reaction by supporters of the PNP and Duterte who went as far as shoving, tackling, kicking, bruising, and harassing our members and comrades and resulted in the injury of two of them.  This incident only further exposes the PNP’s role in dividing the community and repressing the voices of dissent.

 

Under the Trump-backed Duterte administration, the PNP has been given carte blanche to do whatever they want with impunity, with a growing bloody track record of gross human rights violations including the the case of cold-blooded murder of 17 year old Kian De Los Santos by three PNP officers, as well as the 35 year old overseas Filipino worker (OFW) and cancer patient Alan Rafael who was unjustly detained, robbed, and beaten by PNP officers before dying due his injuries and lack of treatment.  

 

We salute the MALAYA Movement and BAYAN USA in the Northeast for engaging in a multi-faceted protest action that included holding a picket-line protest outside the Philippine Consulate, disruption of Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Supt. (PCSUPT) Rhodel Sermonia’s presentation, as well as members participating in the question and answer portion of the townhall.

 

Block the PNP Global Police and Community Relations Outposts!

Cut all forms of US aid to the AFP and PNP!

Stop Duterte’s Oplan Tokhang and Oplan Tambay!

End State Fascism!  Activism is Not a Crime!