Author: National EC

Welcome President Duterte, Arrest Aquino! Embrace the People’s Agenda for Real Change!

Welcome President Duterte, Arrest Aquino!

Embrace the People’s Agenda for Real Change!

Artwork by Aldrein Silanga/ Manila Today

Artwork by Aldrein Silanga/ Manila Today

“With the inauguration of Rodrigo Duterte as President of the Philippines, we look forward to an opening to push for positive changes needed in the government and its policies. But no matter who is president, it is the people, united in collective action, that are the true agents of change! We must work to unite with and engage the incoming administration to truly depart from traditional Philippine politics and walk a pro-people, pro-sovereignty path,” stated Bernadette Ellorin, Chairperson of BAYAN USA.

June 30, 2016 marks the much-anticipated end of the Aquino regime, which throughout its term has exposed its corrupt, criminal, and anti-people nature. Among Aquino’s many failures are his lack of response to the most devastating typhoon to ever touch down on land–Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda which reached a death toll of more than 6,000 people.  The lack of immediate relief and proper distribution of aid was due to government corruption by the Aquino administration. Aquino will be remembered as the Pork Barrel King, aptly dubbed due to his administration’s own practice of corrupt schemes such as the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) in the legislative branch and the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) in the executive branch.

The Mamasapano Massacre, one of the Philippine’s deadliest military blunders with direct guidance from the United States FBI, made international headlines as more than 60 people were unnecessarily killed, with Aquino denying his role and responsibility in the massacre. Aquino has also aided and abetted the 318 extrajudicial killings committed under his regime, by stubbornly pushing his counter-insurgency program Oplan Bayanihan.

“Good riddance! The Aquino government is a criminal administration that should have ended a long time ago. Aquino himself should be held accountable for his crimes committed as Chief Executive during his term,” continued Ellorin.

“As mayor of Davao City, Rodrigo Duterte enacted many pro-people policies and opposed US intervention in Mindanao. We join the Filipino people’s clamor calling on President Duterte to continue this posturing as president and to truly distinguish himself from his predecessors by arresting Aquino; enacting economic and political policies that uphold economic self-reliance, national sovereignty, and social welfare; and discontinuing pro-neoliberal policies that enforce neocolonialism by prioritizing US and foreign corporate interests over the Filipino people. We especially welcome Duterte’s push to renew formal peace negotiations between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and the Philippine government. These negotiations, which have been the target of sabotage by both the Aquino and Arroyo administrations, aim to address the roots of the armed conflict–poverty, landlessness, and joblessness.”

With Duterte’s appointment of known progressives and mass movement leaders Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano as Secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform, Dr. Judy Taguiwalo as Social Welfare Secretary, and Joel Maglunsod as Labor Undersecretary, there is greater potential for pro-people policies, but this must still be achieved with the mass movement taking the lead.

“These are exciting times for the Filipino people, and everywhere around the world people are watching closely at what this president will do. The demonization tactics of the Western media is proof that he is already ruffling the feathers of the U.S. government, which could be a prelude for destabilization if Duterte pushes through with an independent foreign policy,” stated Ellorin. “While we support the general direction President-elect Duterte is going, we must continue to engage him to depart from neoliberal economic policies. We join the Filipino people in guarding against US destabilization and will continue to build a strong mass movement for fundamental change in the Philippines!”

BAYAN USA believes the mass movement has an exceptional opportunity to engage the incoming Duterte administration in advancing a genuine People’s Agenda.  We urge President-Elect Duterte to take action on the following six major priorities during his first 100 days in office:

  1. Economic Development through genuine agrarian reform and national industrialization
  2. Social Policies that prioritize education, healthcare and women’s rights.
  3. Eradicating Corruption in Government by putting Aquino and his cronies in jail, ending systemic corruption, and pushing forward pro-people policies
  4. Peace and Human Rights through the resumption of the Peace Talks with the NDFP, releasing ALL political prisoners, and defending human rights
  5. Defend Philippine Sovereignty by terminating lopsided agreements with the U.S. such as the Enhanced Defense and Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), and the Mutual Defense Treaty to name a few, and pursuing diplomatic resolution of the territorial conflict with China in the West Philippine Sea
  6. Protect Overseas Filipino Workers by ending human trafficking and getting rid of the Labor Export Policy (LEP)

BAYAN-USA to Obama Administration: Stop Blocking Peace in the Philippines

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 24, 2016

Reference: Bernadette Ellorin, BAYAN-USA, chair@bayanusa.org

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BAYAN-USA to Obama Administration: Stop Blocking Peace in the Philippines

Let the talks begin! With hopeful anticipation, Filipino Americans under the banner of BAYAN-USA join the Filipino people in congratulating the incoming peace panel of President-Elect Rodrigo Duterte and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in reaching an agreement to resume peace negotiations in July.  Forged during exploratory talks in Oslo, Norway, the two parties released a joint statement on June 16, 1 AM Manila time stating their intention to begin peace talks during the third week of July this year.  If followed through, this bold step could be the first along the path to resolving the roots of the civil war in the Philippines.

At the same time, BAYAN-USA condemns U.S. imperialism’s planting of landmines on the Filipino people’s road to peace.  The U.S. State Department recently reconfirmed the Communist Party of the Philippines and New People’s Army on its Foreign Terrorist List, in an apparent move to block the talks before they even begin. The U.S. Defense Department is also speeding forward with plans to populate at least five military bases throughout the Philippines, despite protests by local residents against American boots on the ground. The U.S. Congress approved an increase in this year’s Foreign Military Financing allocation to the Philippines, funding the reactionary Armed Forces responsible for committing heinous extrajudicial killings, torture, and other human rights violations with impunity under the discredited counterinsurgency program Operation Plan Bayanihan. The Obama-backed Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement will devastate the economies of the Philippines and its neighbors with its neoliberal economic measures, further entrenching the mal-development and poverty at the root of the armed conflict between the Philippine government and the revolutionary forces. Every action of the U.S. government lays bare its hypocrisy in preaching peace while pushing war.

The Filipino people have no illusions as to the intentions of U.S. imperialism. The military and economic agreements between our countries since so-called independence in 1946 have always been designed to ensure the Philippines’ continued subservience to imperialism’s dictates.  And counterinsurgency programs from Oplan Katatagan under the dictator Ferdinand Marcos to Oplan Bayanihan under B.S. Aquino have all been constructed by the U.S. and implemented by its puppets to quell resistance to the US imperialist agenda.

These maneuvers to keep the Philippines dependent, impoverished and unstable are in line with the long history of US intervention and aggression throughout the world and even within its owns borders. To consolidate and expand its economic and geopolitical dominance, the U.S. has backed coups in Chile, Honduras, Haiti, Venezuela, and many more countries, alongside wars of aggression in countries such as Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, and others.  There is the double-talk of ‘brokering’ peace between Palestine and Israel, while zealously financing and protecting the Zionist state. The U.S. conducts extraordinary rendition and extra-judicial assassinations to deal with individuals it unilaterally deems troublesome.  And the U.S. unleashes its state apparatuses to contain in jails, assassinate on the streets, mire in poverty, deport at the borders, and eject from communities the black and brown people who rise up against imperialist exploitation.

Yet, no matter what form the attacks take, the resistance continues worldwide. As much as we share the common history of struggle against U.S. intervention and aggression, the people of the Philippines and the world share the common goal of having peace with justice. We all stand to gain if the peace negotiations can proceed and succeed in addressing the roots of the civil war in the Philippines.  BAYAN-USA pledges to continue organizing and mobilizing to clear the U.S.’s roadblocks to the peace negotiations and to build the mass movement for genuine, lasting change in the Philippines. We call on our allies in the U.S. to join us in pushing for de-listing of the CPP-NPA from the State Department’s FTO list; the withdrawal U.S. military troops and advisors from the Philippines; the nullification of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement and Visiting Forces Agreement; and the elimination of aid to the reactionary Armed Forces of the Philippines.

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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 www.bayanusa.org

 

Stand Up for Orlando, Rise Up Against Homophobia, Resist Imperialism

For Immediate Release
June 19, 2016

Reference:  Jessica Antonio, Secretary General, BAYAN USA, secgen@bayanusa.org

STAND UP FOR ORLANDORISE UP AGAINST HOMOPHOBIA & IMPERIALISM-2

Stand Up for Orlando, Rise Up Against Homophobia, Resist Imperialism

BAYAN USA extends our heartfelt condolences to all the victims and loved ones of last week’s shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. recent history.  This act of violence resulted in the murder of at least 49 and wounded 53.  Most of the victims were youth and queer-identified people of color, Black, Puerto Rican, Latino, including some undocumented immigrants.  We stand in solidarity with the victims, survivors, and the international lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, gender non-conforming (LGBTQIGNC) community and we will continue to call for justice, an end to hate violence, and end to U.S. imperialism, the root of the violence against LGBTQIGNC communities.

The main perpetrator of violence is U.S. imperialism and its use of militarization, criminalization, and discrimination as tools to further police, subjugate and marginalize LGBTQIGNC communities within the US and abroad.  “The U.S. perpetuates an imperialist and capitalist culture of violence against the poor, people of color, immigrants, LGBTQIGNC, and Muslim communities.”  said Jessica Antonio, Secretary General of BAYAN USA.  She continued, “When mass shootings happen in the U.S., the government’s response is not to protect the most oppressed, not to enforce gun laws, but rather incite more hate and violence using the media. In this case, targeting the Muslim and migrant communities while justifying the U.S. imperialist wars.”  Corporate media outlets have continued to spread propaganda scapegoating Muslims and dangerously perpetuating Islamophobia.

“When mass shootings happen in the U.S., the government’s response is not to protect the most oppressed, not to enforce gun laws, but rather incite more hate and violence using the media. In this case, targeting the Muslim and migrant communities while justifying the U.S. imperialist wars.”

Antonio explained, “This tragedy is a also a reminder that the daily experience of LGBTQIGNC communities facing harassment and violence is directly shaped by the U.S. government’s anti-people policies.”  Even after gay marriage was legalized, anti-LGBTQ hate crimes have been on the rise and more anti-LGBTQ laws were passed this year than any year in recent history. Of the 175+ anti-LGBTQ laws passed this year in the U.S., at least 44 of them are aimed at discriminating transgender communities.  A recent report by the National Anti-Violence Project cites that more than half of the 24 LGBTQ homicide victims in the U.S. in 2015 were trans women of color.  In the Philippines, progressive youth, women, and LGBTQ organizations having been pushing for an anti-hate crime law, particularly citing the recent deaths of Ashley Reilley, a 23 year old transgender Filipina found murdered and stuffed into a suitcase, and Jennifer Laude, a 26 year old transgender Filipina strangled to death by U.S. Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton, who received U.S. protection due to the Visiting Forces Agreement and a reduced sentence despite being found guilty of the crime.

BAYAN USA calls on all of its members organizations, allies, and the Filipino community to stand up for the LGBTQIGNC community rising up for genuine change and fighting for liberation.  We urge our members, allies and friends to take concrete steps to work together by educating, organizing, and mobilizing with the LGBTQIGNC community.  Participate in local Pride marches across the country such as Chicago Pride (June 18-19), San Francisco & Seattle (June 25-26), and San Diego (July 15-17).  Only through unity, collective action, and solidarity can we win freedom for the most oppressed and all LGBTQIGNC communities facing state violence, poverty, homophobia, and transphobia.  

 

Justice for Victims of the Orlando Shooting!

End Homophobia, Transphobia, & Hate Violence!

Resist State Violence and Imperialism!

Fight for Self-Determination, Genuine Freedom, & Liberation!

 

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Sources: National Anti-Violence Project

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 www.bayanusa.org.