Author: National EC

Loud & Clear Radio: Will Duterte Declare Martial Law Across All of the Philippines?

Loud & Clear Radio: Will Duterte Declare Martial Law Across All of the Philippines?

Listen to “Will Duterte Declare Martial Law Across All of the Philippines?” on Spreaker.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has raised the possibility of initiating martial law across the country, one day after it was declared on the island of Mindanao. Is the country returning to the bleak days of dictatorship? Bernadette Ellorin, the chair of BAYAN-USA, joins the show.

Pagpupugay Para Kay Ka Bal (Salute to Ka Bal)

June 13, 2017

It is with great sadness and inspiration that BAYAN-USA pays tribute to Kasamang Baltazar “Bal” Pinguel, who passed away last Saturday, June 10. We send our heartfelt condolences to Ka Bal’s wife, Chato, his family and loved ones for their loss.

BAYAN-USA remembers and thanks Ka Bal for dedicating his life in service of the Filipino people, and other peoples oppressed by U.S. imperialism. In life and beyond, Ka Bal is an inspiration to generations of young Filipino activists who embrace the cause of genuine national freedom and democracy in the Philippines, including those of us in the Filipino diaspora. As the last open spokesperson of the Kabataang Makabayan before it went underground in the early 70’s, Ka Bal was well-known as a fiery orator who contributed to the agitation of thousands of Filipino youth and students to wage a nationwide anti-imperialist struggle against US military presence in the Philippines, and particular to that time the use of U.S. bases in the Philippines as launching pads for the U.S. invasion of Vietnam and Indochina for over 20 years.

Ka Bal was also a victim of the US-backed fascist dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos, and was a long-held political prisoner and torture victim who along with eight others led the first mass jailbreak under martial law in 1973. After being arrested and imprisoned again in 1980, Ka Bal participated in a prisoner hunger strike that caught the attention of the international media and led to his release in January 1985. Ka Bal would later help form the largest anti-dictatorship united front in the country– Bagong Alyansang Makabayan or BAYAN– later that year. Ka Bal served as  BAYAN’s first Deputy Secretary-General.

Years later, Ka Bal sought and was granted political asylum in the United States, where he continued as a peace and justice activist with the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), and as a leader in United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ), a U.S. anti-war coalition founded in 2002 in response to the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Ka Bal kept in close touch with comrades in the Philippines as well as with Filipino activists in the US. He supported BAYAN-USA and agreed to serve as an advisor.

In 2016, his final year, Ka Bal was with BAYAN-USA activists and others protesting the burial of Marcos at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani (National Heroes Cemetery) in front of the Philippine Consulate in New York City.

The spirit of Ka Bal and fruits of his example will live on in younger and future generations of Filipino activists in the Philippines and around the world. In this time of intensifying global crisis as well as U.S.-led war, militarism, and neo-fascism, let us best honor him by advancing the Filipino people’s struggle for genuine freedom and democracy in the country, and towards the liberation of the world’s peoples from imperialist aggression, oppression and exploitation.

Mabuhay ang Diwa ni Kasamang Bal Pinguel!

US Troops Out of the Philippines!

Down with US Imperialism!

Mabuhay ang Sambayanan Pilipino!

Continue the Struggle for Genuine Philippine Independence! US OUT OF THE PHILIPPINES!

In commemoration of Philippine Independence Day, BAYAN-USA joins thousands of people in the Philippines and worldwide in a National Day of Prayer calling for genuine peace, justice, sovereignty, and human rights in the Philippines.

After 377 years under Spanish colonial rule and 44 years of U.S. direct colonial rule, the Philippine Revolution of 1898 for genuine independence remains unfinished. Despite the June 12, 1946 declaration of Philippine Independence, BAYAN-USA recognizes that U.S. imperialist domination of the Philippines persists.  We condemn the recent actions of President Duterte and his pro-U.S.imperialist lackeys Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Armed Forces Chief Eduardo Ano to continue allowing the U.S. to trample on Philippine sovereignty.  The declaration of martial law in Mindanao, Duterte-supported intervention of U.S. Special Action Forces in Marawi, Mindanao and increased militarization will not address the root causes of the armed conflict in the region or the country. President Duterte must end martial law in Mindanao, remove all U.S. troops, personnel and advisors from Philippine soil and put an end to the gross human rights violations and impunity in the Philippines.

At the same time, we protest the aggressive moves of China to claim more territory in the West Philippine Sea and increase its presence in the Philippine economy. President Duterte has shown a lack of political will in asserting the Philippines’ sovereign right to the territory as confirmed by the ruling of the U.N. Permanent Court of Arbitration. Moreover, his dealings with China’s leaders point to an invitation to China to pour capital into questionable infrastructure projects in the Philippines that benefit purely foreign interests.  We call on President Duterte to live up to his original pronouncements of pursuing an independent foreign policy, including guarding against aggravating threats of Chinese imperialist incursions.   

An independent foreign policy must focus on the internal development of the Philippine economy to eliminate its historic and current export-dependent, import-oriented character towards a self-reliance via free land distribution, domestic agricultural development and national industrialization. This includes voiding all U.S. and foreign agreements that favor foreign interests at the expense of national interests, including military agreements such as the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). While rumors about the presence of “foreign terrorists” in the Philippines run rampant, we remind President Duterte that the #1 terrorist force in the world is already confirmed to be operating in the Philippines: the U.S. military. It was U.S. Special Operations Forces who were deployed on a “permanent rotational” basis in Mindanao since the declaration of the Philippines as the “second front” in the so-called war on terror in 2001. It was U.S. FBI and intelligence personnel involved in the Mamasapano debacle which resulted in the needless deaths of Filipino civilians and police forces. It has been thousands of U.S. troops deployed year after year to conduct military exercises with Philippine forces. Now, it is U.S. Special Action Forces deployed to provide “technical assistance” to Philippine military in Marawi. For as along as U.S. military intervention remains in the Philippines, genuine Philippine independence remains unrealized.

The recent declaration of martial law by the Duterte regime is also the hand of the U.S. government at play. The declaration comes when the peace process between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines reached a critical stage– an agreement to free land redistribution at the end of the 4th round of talks.  The 5th round was set to tackle its implementation along with other urgent social and economic reforms outlined in the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) that would pave the way for the eradication of crushing poverty, landlessness, and joblessness suffered by the vast majority of the Filipino people, and at the root of the armed conflict in the country. The declaration of martial law in the whole island of Mindanao as a response to armed clashes in one city in one province in the Moro territory is also an orchestrated play to include and revive the Bush-Arroyo era branding of the New People’s Army (NPA) also as terrorists and therefore an open target of the Philippine military, in effect sabotaging the peace process, now with an increased presence of U.S. Special Forces.

The roots of the armed conflict and chronic social crisis and unrest in the Philippines lies in its economic underdevelopment, dependence on foreign dictates, and lack of sovereignty. BAYAN USA calls on President Rodrigo Duterte to act on his prior pronouncements of being the leader of a sovereign state and reject the pro-U.S. militarists in his Cabinet behind the martial law declaration.. Just as Duterte rejected U.S. military presence in Mindanao while he was still Mayor of Davao City, Duterte as President of the Philippines must reject U.S. military presence in the Philippines, revoke martial law, and pursue a diplomatic and peaceful means of resolving the conflict and human rights crisis in Marawi. Continue the peace process with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines towards the implementation urgent economic reforms the Filipino people need for food, livelihood, dignity and justice.

We call on the Filipino people to remain vigilant against increasing U.S. intervention– overt and covert– in the country.

 

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BAYAN-USA to President Duterte: Stop Arresting the Peace Process!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 31, 2017
Reference: Jessica Antonio, BAYAN-USA Secretary General, secgen@bayanusa.org

BAYAN-USA to President Duterte: Stop Arresting the Peace Process!

“President Duterte’s threat to arrest peace consultants threatens to arrest the peace process itself,” stated BAYAN-USA Chair Bernadette Ellorin, in response to President Duterte’s speech to the Philippine Navy during which he warned that he would “throw [into] the slammer” the consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) who are participating in peace negotiations with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP).
“Any action by the Philippine government to detain the NDFP peace consultants would willfully violate the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), a binding agreement signed by both the NDFP and GRP that guarantees all negotiators, consultants and staff of the peace talks to be immune from surveillance, arrest, detention, and other forms of harassment. By arresting NDFP consultants, keeping political prisoners in captivity, and waging its counter-insurgency operations under Oplan Kapayapaan, the GRP has already violated the JASIG repeatedly. Continuing to do so would render JASIG useless and prevent the talks from continuing in earnest,” continued Ellorin.
President Duterte’s comment comes on the heels of the GRP’s decision not to participate in the 5th round of peace talks with the NDFP. During the 5th round, the GRP and NDFP were set to discuss the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER), including national industrialization and agrarian development. Such reforms are considered fundamental to addressing the root causes of poverty, landlessness, and injustice which lie at the center of armed conflict in the country. If pursued, such reforms stand to change the domination by the landed ruling elite in the Philippine government over the vast majority of impoverished and landless farmers and rural communities, including indigenous peoples, in the country.
“In the U.S., members of the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines just concluded a successful Peace Tour, during which thousands of Americans attended events and actions supporting the call for a just peace in the Philippines and the continuation of the NDFP-GRP peace talks. They also condemned the role of the U.S. in sabotaging the peace talks, through its historic role in occupying, conducting military exercises and operations, and designing counter-insurgency programs in the Philippines,” said Ellorin.
President Duterte’s statements were also made just one week after his declaration of martial law in Mindanao. Since the imposition of martial law, dozens of civilians have been reported wounded and killed, and forced nearly 60,000 people to evacuate Marawi City.
“History shows that without the JASIG, the work of the peace consultants will be paralyzed. History shows that with martial law, violations of human rights and civil liberties will continue with impunity. We urge President Duterte to break away from the militarists and opportunists in his regime such as Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, who is drumbeating a pretext for greater militarization, especially U.S. military intervention, just as the US-backed Arroyo administration did in 2002. Duterte should instead side with the people who are demanding the continuation of the peace process and the lifting of martial law,” said Ellorin.
“The people want and deserve a just peace, not militarization and continued impunity. We join the people of Mindanao, the entire Philippines and around the world in calling on the GRP to immediately lift martial law, comply with previously-signed agreements in the peace process, and continue with the peace negotiations. Duterte must end the impunity, not contribute to it, in order to create an environment conducive for the peace process to flourish,” ended Ellorin.
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BAYAN-USA is an alliance of 20 progressive Filipino organizations in the U.S. representing youth, students, women, workers, artists, and human rights advocates. As the oldest and largest overseas 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 Filipinos in the U.S. For more information, visit www.bayanusa.org