Author: National EC



For Immediate Release

May 1, 2016

Reference: Rhonda Ramiro, BAYAN USA,

On International Workers Day 2016, BAYAN USA members raise our fists and march with millions of working people around the world commemorating 130 years of workers and migrant struggles and resistance! The struggles of our sisters and brothers from Latin America, Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia, who came to the U.S. in hopes for a better life, but were instead forced into the shadows and subjected to indignities of an inhumane system is a common story for all migrant workers. The need to link our common struggles in our homelands against U.S. imperialism and its neoliberal economic paradigm is ever more important.

As the U.S. imperialist wars of aggression and plunder of natural resources continue, more and more U.S. bases are being built in the Asia-Pacific, trampling on national sovereignty and causing violence upon peaceful communities. We can already see the impact of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the U.S. and Philippines, as more troops are being deployed to conduct “Balikatan” joint military exercises and enforce U.S.-modelled counter-insurgency programs such as Oplan Bayanihan. Propelling U.S. militarization are U.S. neoliberal economic policies, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, that operate to secure US economic hegemony and control over markets,  resources, and local economies. Combine this with drive for cheap migrant labor via the Labor Export Policy (LEP), which exports at least 6,000 Filipinos from the Philippine every day.

We connect the struggles in semi-colonies like the Philippines where the Kidapawan farmers’ peaceful protest demanding the government to release food aid was violently dispersed by the bullets and truncheons of the police, to the struggles of workers and peasants around the world including the U.S., especially the farm workers fighting for fair wages and humane working conditions in the fields of California to Washington and campaigning to Boycott Driscoll. These are shining examples of working people who remain poor, landless, and suppressed, and yet continue to resist neoliberal economic policies, despite being met with intensifying and violent state repression.

In the face of imperialist war and occupation abroad, militarized attacks on black people all across the US, state repression of workers movements across the globe, and neoliberal economic policies that impoverish and displace working people everyday, BAYAN USA will continue building the anti-imperialist movement to challenge the structures that drive forced migration and reactionary violence, and more importantly, to win our peoples’ shared struggles for self-determination and genuine sustainable development.

Build the Militant Movement of Migrants & Workers!

Block the TPPA! Resist Neoliberalism!

Long Live International Solidarity!

Justice and Dignity for All Immigrants and Workers!


BAYAN-USA is an alliance of 20 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

BAYAN-USA Slams Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s Tax Day Gift for the Asia Pacific: $425 Million American Taxpayer Dollars for Militarization and War

War-Tax Resisters and Peace Activists Award BAYAN-USA with Grant to Fight U.S. Military Expansion in the Philippines

Traveling through what he dubbed the “single most consequential region” for America’s future, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter ominously spent the days prior to “Tax Day” this year in countries in the Asia Pacific including the Philippines, where he gloated over plans to vastly expand U.S. military presence in the Philippines and spend $425 million over five years on a maritime security initiative in the region. Carter praised the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the U.S. and Philippines, which opened the door for American plans to station U.S. military personnel, aircraft, ships, and potentially long-range missiles in the Philippines. He also announced plans to open up even more Philippine bases to be used for U.S. facilities in the future—beyond the five locations already announced in March in a midnight deal forged with outgoing Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino.

“How fitting that Carter chose Tax Day to flaunt U.S. imperialism’s grandiose plans to spend American taxpayer money on military expansion in the region,” said BAYAN-USA Chairperson Bernadette Ellorin. “Tax Day is a bitter reminder that a struggling U.S. worker pays 54 cents of every dollar in taxes for U.S. military spending, leaving little for education, healthcare, employment with livable wages, and safety net programs. For Filipino Americans, the pill is even tougher to swallow, knowing that a portion of those taxes funds increased human rights violations, environmental destruction, and trampling of the sovereignty of our homeland by the U.S. military.”

Carter used the specter of China to justify increased U.S. militarization in the region, stating that Americans “have helped provide the necessary security and stability for this … region to thrive with our strong defense engagements here. The United States has long provided the necessary reassurance, an attractive and appealing reassurance, and worked to keep the peace here in the Asia Pacific.” Ellorin countered: “Carter should stop pretending that U.S. involvement in the region leads to peace when the exact opposite is true. The firing of U.S. long-range missiles, patrols of American naval vessels in disputed territory, and joint military exercises between the U.S. and Philippines and neighboring South Korea have only aggravated tensions with China, heightening concerns that the Philippines will just get caught in the middle of power plays between the two giants. The Philippines needs to stand up for itself against the incursions of all foreign aggressors, be they the U.S., China, Japan or others. Since Aquino failed dismally to uphold Philippine interests, the next President must make Philippine sovereignty a priority by terminating the EDCA, industrializing the country, and developing our own capacity for defense.”

Carter’s trip also coincided with the 32nd “Balikatan” joint military exercises between the U.S. and the Philippines, which were provocatively conducted in some of the contested areas of the West Philippine Sea. Carter announced that the U.S. would leave some of its Balikatan participants in the Philippines on a rotational basis to “improve command and control with the Filipino Armed Forces.” Ellorin refuted: “The Americans come to the Philippines, play their war games, and leave U.S. military personnel, bases, and ships here like a bad hangover. Carter fails to mention that the U.S. has been providing advisors and the blueprint for counterinsurgency programs of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for years, during which time the AFP has had a notorious human rights record. Depositing more U.S. military personnel and arms in the Philippines will not resolve the fact that the AFP is implicated in hundreds of cases of extrajudicial killings, torture, and violent displacement of innocent people over the past six years under President Aquino.”

Also on Tax Day, in a show of solidarity with the Filipino people, conscientious war tax resisters in Northern California awarded BAYAN-USA with a grant to support the alliance’s work to oppose increasing U.S. militarization in the Philippines. “BAYAN-USA is grateful for the courageous action to support us taken by conscientious war tax resisters, who are individuals who choose to take all or part of the amount they would otherwise pay to the federal government in income taxes, and instead re-direct that money toward making peace,” said Ellorin. “We hope to forge solidarity with even more people in the U.S. by together building the movement against a common enemy: U.S. imperialism.”

GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION for Food and Justice! JOIN Today-24hr FASTING in Solidarity with Farmers in the Philippines!

Global Day of Action for Food and Justice for the Victims of the Kidapawan Massacre! JOIN 24hr FASTING in Solidarity with Farmers in the Philippines!

Photo by Ryan Sin

ICHRP Norcal Network Action (Photos by Ryan Sin)

Photo by Ryan Sin

ICHRP Norcal Network Action (Photos by Ryan Sin)

BAYAN USA Joins the Global Day of Action for Food and Justice on April 8, 2016 by calling on all members, allies and friends to join members of the International Committee on Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) USA Network’s call for a 24-hour Fast in solidarity with the victims of the Kidapawan Massacre. The 24-hour solidarity fast with the farmers and Lumad victims of the Kidapawan massacre will launch on April 7 at 6 PM PDT (April 8 at 9 AM in Philippines).

By joining this fast, you, your organization, and your community can stand in solidarity with the farmers and indigenous people in Cotabato and raise awareness about the issue.

For details click on the FB Event: Solidarity Fast with Victims of Kidapawan Massacre  


  1. Take a photo or video of yourself with a sign that states: “I am fasting for 24 hours in solidarity with the protesting farmers in Cotabato and their struggle for food & justice!”
  2. Post your photo or video on this page and your social media accounts with the official hashtags #RiceNotBullets, #BigasHindiBala, and#Fast4FilipinoFarmers
  3. Tag ICHRP on FB (International Coordinating Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines) & ICHRPnorcal, Twitter (@ichrpnorcal), and instagram (@ichrp.norcal).

During your fast, we encourage participants to fundraise and gather donations by asking for sponsors to contribute $$ per hour, per meal or for the entire day. Donations can be made on

Break your fast with other #Fast4FilipinoFarmers participants, and post the photos with the official hashtags! Thank you for your support, and long live the protesting farmers of Cotabato!”

BACKGROUND: On the morning of April 1, 2016 more than 5,000 farmers and community members staged a protest in the city of Kidapawan-Cotabato, Mindanao demanding immediate relief and aid from the Philippine government due to the severe drought in the region when combined forces of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) opened fire into the crowd including children, killing at least two and injuring more than 116 people. The PNP and AFP continue to harass and intimidate the victims by barricading them in the Methodist Church they sought refuge in. Many supporters of the farmers have donated rice including Filipino Actor Robin Padilla, however their generosity was met with closed doors from the Provincial Government of Lala Talino-Mendoza who took it as an insult to her leadership.  

The Aquino government must also be held accountable for the overall criminal neglect of the conditions of the farmers during the time of El Nino-induced drought. The Aquino legacy is filled with massacres: the Mendiola Massacre, Hacienda Luisita Massacre, the Maguindanao Massacre, the recent increased violence against Lumad in Mindanao, and now the Kidapawan Massacre. Aquino, the PNP, the AFP, and the Provincial Government are all guilty!  

We are calling on the international community to join us in demanding justice for the Kidapawan Massacre! We DEMAND the Aquino government:

  1. Release the 74 detained protesters. It is not even clear what charges are being filed against them while they are being held.
  2. The wounded and injured should be given medical attention.
  3. The demands for rice support and release of calamity funds should be met. There is no reason to prolong the process given the gravity of the situation. There is sufficient rice supply on the part of government. It should be released to the farmers as soon as possible.
  4. Police officials involved in the dispersal and shooting of farmers should be relieved pending an impartial investigation.


Filipino Americans in Los Angeles Demand Justice for Kidapawan Farmers Massacred in North Cotabato

For Immediate Release

April 2, 2016

Reference:  Nikole Cababa, BAYAN USA, (562) 290-3611


(Photo Above:  Filipino leaders and faith leaders protested in front of the Philippine Consulate in Los Angeles to demand justice for Kidapawan farmers,  Credit: Eric Tandoc)


Los Angeles, CA – On April 2nd, 2016, local activists and church people joined around fifty Filipinos from across Southern California to hold a rally in front of the Philippine Consulate in protest against the recent massacre of Filipino farmers in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato, Mindanao, Philippines.  

BAYAN USA, an national alliance of progressive Filipino organizations of women, youth, students, workers, and artists mobilized their members from Los Angeles, South Bay, West Covina, and San Diego to condemn the massacre in Mindanao. Beginning on March 30, the Filipino farmers had launched a 4-day protest barricading the North Cotabato Highway to demand 15,000 sacks of rice and immediate relief after 7 months of severe drought. Although the local government had declared a state of calamity due to the drought, the governor refused to disperse any emergency relief. Instead, the Philippine National Police fired M16 rifles at the protesters, resulting in at least 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and 87 farmers and 6 children missing.

“It is horrendous and despicable what the Aquino regime has done to the farmers and Lumad in Kidapawan who went down from their villages and suffered hunger and starvation after 7 months of El Niño,” said Terrie Cervas, Secretary General of Gabriela USA, a women’s organization fighting for the rights and welfare of Filipino women and children.

Members of Kapit Bisig Kabataan Network, a national Filipino-American youth and student led relief network built in response to Typhoon Haiyan, were also in attendance.  “This incident is so reminiscent of the neglect that typhoon survivors faced when they demanded from Malacañang palace to have assistance,” said Jewelle Dela Cruz, Southern California Regional Coordinator of Kapit Bisig Kabataan Network. “The farmers didn’t receive anything.”

While the Philippines is one of the largest producers and exporters of rice, a vast majority of the peasants and farmers who till rice fields face hunger, abject poverty, landlessness, and land grabbing by foreign multinational corporations.  “A lot of solutions have been tried before but really history has taught us that there’s no better solution to the problem of landlessness and the lack of rights than the national democratic solution, which includes genuine agrarian land reform,” said Nap Pempeña, Vice Chairperson of Anakbayan-USA, a national Filipino youth and student organization.

(Left: Romeo Hebron, Southern California Regional Coordinator of BAYAN USA)

Romeo Hebron, Southern California Regional Coordinator of BAYAN USA explained, “What we just saw is a government that would rather kill its people and let them starve than let them stand up for their rights.” Hebron continued, “We have to demand that the people get their needs met, that they can feed their families.  We have to end neoliberal policies, so the Philippines can be more independent.”

Local activists who recently visited the Philippines also came to show their support. “As Central Americans and Latinos in the United States, we denounce all acts of violence in our communities demanding their basic human rights such as food, land and water. This is what we learned in the Philippines — that land is life,” said Nancy Zuniga, a Los Angeles community organizer with the Human Rights Alliance for Child Refugees and Families.

12321383_605963786226753_6669416162831347048_n(Right: Filipino community leaders from Gabriela LA, Migrante LA, and Anakbayan LA gather in front of the Philippine Consulate demanding genuine relief and justice for the Kidapawan farmers.)

Currently, at least 4,500 farmers have sought refuge at nearby Spottswood United Methodist Church in Kidapawan and are currently facing food blockades, arrests, and fines for launching protests. “The UMC in Kidapawan helped the people to take a stand in their faith and in their love for others. This should be done by anyone who believes that justice can be achieved by serving those in need,” said Rev. Roy Padilla, Filipino Pastor at Rosewood United Methodist Church in Los Angeles. “The government, who is supposed to do work, becomes the one who oppressed, enslaved, and repressed these people who only want a better future.”

Hebron explained, “The threat to the Filipino farmers wasn’t just El Niño and the drought. The dangerous threat was the Philippine government’s violent shooting of poor farmers struggling to survive.”  He continued, “We must continue to educate the community about this issue, because only through our unity can we win justice for the Kidapawan farmers and genuine change for the Filipino people.”


(Photo Above:  BAYAN USA led a protest and rally in at the Philippine Consulate in Los Angeles to demand justice for Kidapawan farmers and immediate relief to all the farmers and victims.  Credit: Eric Tandoc)




BAYAN-USA is an alliance of 20 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.