Category: BAYAN USA

BAYAN-USA statement on 3-year anniversary of Iraq War: End U.S. war and terror in Iraq and the Philippines

On the third anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, BAYAN-USA (Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-USA) stands in worldwide solidarity with the broad coalition of anti-imperialist and anti-war forces to emphatically demand, End U.S. War and Terror in Iraq and the Philippines!

The Filipino people know first-hand the trauma of American invasion and occupation following the Philippine-American war from 1898-1902. On a visit to the Philippines, President Bush compared the so-called U.S. “liberation” of Iraq to the “liberation” of the Philippines over a century ago.

We know that liberation really means occupation and exploitation, and we call for an end to the military occupation of countries from Iraq to Afghanistan to the Philippines, the alleged “second front of the War on Terror” where over 5,500 U.S. troops are currently training in war exercises in Mindanao where six Moros (Muslims) have been recently killed. We call for the end to Balikatan war exercises and the Visiting Forces Agreement which are aimed at reestablishing permanent U.S. military presence in the Philippines.

The legacy of the American invasion of the Philippines a century ago remains fully intact, as the Bush administration has provided direct military and political support to Philippine president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s puppet regime as she and her.

On February 24 of this year, president Arroyo issued Proclamation 1017, which imposed a defacto martial law under the guise of a “State of Emergency” in which progressive Filipino organizations and individuals have been targeted and subject to unconstitutional arrest, detainment, and even assassination. The latest killings involving a BAYAN and Hacienda Luisita Union leader just days ago.

Just as we opposed the U.S.-Marcos regime over twenty years ago, progressive Filipinos say no again to martial law, in the Philippines and anywhere people’s rights are endangered. We demand the ouster of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her U.S.-supported regime, and the establishment of a transitional council that truly serves the Filipino people and addresses our right to sovereignty, agrarian reform, jobs and fair wages.

Amidst the hostile political climate both here in the U.S. and in the Philippines, we demand the guaranteed safety of the “list of 51” persons who are currently being targeted by the US-GMA regime. We will steadfastly continue to defend Filipino progressives, in the Philippines and abroad. We demand a stop to the unwarranted arrest of progressive parliamentarians, the release of all post-1017 political detainees, including the Batasan Five and Anakpawis representative Crispin Beltran.

In the words of “Ka Bel,” “If helping the poor is a crime, and fighting for freedom is rebellion, then I plead guilty as charged.” We echo Beltran’s sentiments as we continue to struggle for genuine national democracy and just and lasting peace in the Philippines, Iraq and worldwide.


Contact: Kawal Ulanday:
Berna Ellorin:

Gloria definitely not a role model for us; works against emancipation of Filipinas, say Fil-Am women

Filipino women in the United States, young and old alike, are uniting with a single message on the occasion of March 8th, recognized as International Women’s Day: “Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is a disgraceful image of the Filipina and definitely not a role model for us. Best way to advance the struggles of Filipino women now is to oust Arroyo.”

This message came from the female ranks of BAYAN USA, a U.S. chapter of the national alliance in the Philippines with over 12 organizations in the U.S. under its belt. The U.S. chapter has been active with actions in multiple U.S. cities calling for the ouster of Arroyo since last year, while many within the ranks of BAYAN in the Philippines, a continuous voice of criticism against the Arroyo regime, have been killed, jailed, or victimized by rampant human rights violations under Arroyo’s military command.

The Philippines is one of a handful of nations around the world that have carried not one, but two female presidents in their country’s history.

“We, young Filipinas in the U.S., do not look up to Gloria at all, but are in fact shamed by her. Let’s not forget, she cheated her way into the position with election fraud. So she really isn’t the duly-elected head of state,” states Berna Ellorin, a New York-based representative of BAYAN USA.

According to the alliance, the declaration of PP1017 weeks ago has brought false charges of rebellion and/or unjust arrest to over 51 individuals, all vocal critics of the Arroyo regime. Among them is progressive partylist leader Liza Maza, a pro-people legislator who has committed her life to the genuine advancement of women’s struggles in the Philippines.

“This is the woman who has single-handedly resurrected martial law in the Philippines. More and more Filipinos are suffering under Arroyo’s martial rule, and the democratic struggles of women in the Philippines, the majority of whom are poor peasants and workers, are driven backward under Arroyo’s moral, political, and economic bankruptcy,” states Marisa Mariano of the San Francisco-based women’s organization babae, also a member of BAYAN.

Highlights of the last tumultuous year under Arroyo have been a dramatic skyrocket in unemployment rates, a declared fiscal crisis driven by rampant government corruption, and the controversial Value Added Tax (VAT) which Arroyo lauded as the necessary measure to uplift the country’s ailing economic problems against the beaten backs of the impoverished Filipino majority.

Amongst the most outstanding events that has galvanized the call for ouster from more and more Filipino women is the subservience displayed by Arroyo to the U.S. military and a passive attitude towards the alleged gang-rape of a Filipina by 6 U.S. Marines last November.

“This is a woman who also not only refused to stand up for another Filipina and the entire nation behind her when she was gang-raped by 6 U.S. Marines, she is the number one proponent for the continuation of rape and other sexual violations against Filipino women nationwide through her support of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and her welcoming of thousands of U.S. troops to Philippine shores throughout her term,” Ellorin continued.

The alliance also asserted that if not for opposition pressures coming from the popular people’s movement on the streets led by BAYAN and others, Arroyo’s push for the intensification of direct U.S. political, economic, and military intervention under her Charter Change (Cha-Cha) which pose major threats to the livelihood of all Filipinos, could go unchecked.

“As a concerned Filipina woman with two young daughters to raise I want to empower them with the sense of social responsibility and value for civil rights, liberties, and freedoms– which is the antithesis of the Arroyo regime” states Rachel Redondiez, secretary-general of BAYAN USA. “Instead I am teaching my daughters of the daily struggles of Filipino women, the importance of building a strong peoples’ movement to advance these struggles, and why Arroyo must be ousted. It is the best message for parents to give.”

BAYAN USA vowed to continue their call for a Gloria-free Philippines and the establishment of a transition council in her place while taking to the streets in massive anti-war protests across the U.S. on Saturday, March 18th, the 3rd anniversary of the U.S. military occupation in Iraq, of which Arroyo has been an avid supporter.

Berna Ellorin, Media Officer, BAYAN USA, email:

Arroyo “Lifts” 1017 by People’s Demand; But De Facto Martial Law Still In Practice, Protests Won’t Stop

While news of Malacanang’s so-called lifting of Presidential Proclamation 1017 has reached the United States, Filipino-Americans and U.S. allies are not swallowing it.

“Proclamation 1017 was a major violation on Arroyo’s part and she felt the popular condemnation of the people as soon as she issued it. In fact, it has made her even more unpopular as the protest actions on the streets increased because of it. Now she is calling for a lift to merely save her own skin. But the de facto martial law policies and laws she has been pushing all this time against the people are still in place. The repression is still intact. The people’s call for Arroyo’s ouster will continue,” stated BAYAN USA chair Kawal Ulanday.

Ulanday affirmed Filipino groups and American allies under BAYAN USA will not lessen their resolve to launch US-based actions and build popular support for Arroyo’s ouster and the establishment of a transition council in her place.

“The lifting of PP 1017 is a testament to the power of the Filipino people who did not bog down even when it was declared,” he stated.

He also reiterated the Filipino-American alliance’s demand for a full release of political detainees Crispin Beltran of Anakpawis party list, Joel Virador of Bayan Muna, Dennis Maga of the Gloria Step Down Movement, and many others who were unjustly arrested days after PP 1017 was declared.

“Arroyo’s targeting of progressive party list leaders and opposition leaders is obviously not ceasing either, proving her sentiments with this so-called lift are completely insincere,” Ulanday continued.

BAYAN USA pointed the aggressive implementation of the Calibrated Preemptive Response (CPR) by military and police forces against peaceful assemblies in public are also not backing down in tandem with the supposed lift.

“Five years of damage by the Arroyo administration has been done. Since her ascendance into office in 2001, Arroyo has become the country’s most infamous anti-patriot continuously working against the interest of the Filipino people and bowing down to the dictates of foreigners. The united movement of patriotic and peace-loving Filipinos on the streets is a force she cannot withstand. If she believes she can sustain her position just because of this lift she is in for a rude awakening,” Ulanday ended.

Kawal Ulanday, Chair, BAYAN USA, email:
Berna Ellorin, Media Officer, BAYAN USA, email:

With GMA’s desperate moves apparent, Fil-Ams launch US-wide protests for Arroyo’s Ouster

Various cause-oriented groups and Filipino organizations under banner of BAYAN-USA held quick reaction protests in four major US cities yesterday to condemn the Arroyo administration’s declaration of a so-called “state of national emergency” (Proclamation 1017) in the Philippines less than 24 hours after it was announced in a nationally-televised broadcast from Malacanang.

Filipinos and their allies in the US condemned the illegal maneuver as “unwarranted and desperate, pushing Arroyo’s strategic agenda of resurrecting a full-blown martial law to quell nationwide dissent towards her regime and retain her stolen presidential seat.”

Since then police and military raids have entered newspaper offices, such as the Daily Tribune, to prevent the media projection of broad opposition forces gaining considerable momentum from various fronts. Outspoken Anti-Arroyo legislators, such as Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran have been arrested, while others have been forced into hiding.

“Proclamation 1017 is an illegal act. It is the latest in Arroyo’s tone-setting of fictitious national conditions to justify martial rule. We condemn the rise of fascism under Arroyo. The massive street demonstrations that started with the commemoration of People Power 1 will only heighten from this point on. Arroyo’s gaining more and more opponents by the moment and it shows through her measures,” stated BAYAN-USA chair Kawal Ulanday.

In New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle, broad multi-national solidarity groups joined BAYAN-USA and its member Filipino organizations Babae, Anakbayan, League of Filipino Students, NY Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines, Critical Filipino/Filipina Studies Collective and Habi Arts in front of Philippine consulates everywhere.

Supporters that also joined the US-wide actions included the International Action Center, ANSWER Coalition, CAAAV:Organizing Asian Communities, Nodutol for Korean Community Development, Al-Awda, and many others.

“Filipino-Americans and the freedom-loving people of the US will not cease to intensify our actions calling for Gloria’s immediate ouster until such time she is removed from Malacanang. We look forward to launching more US-based support for People Power 3. We reiterate our call for a transition council to be established in Arroyo’s place to address the people’s urgent issues sincerely and move the country in a genuinely positive direction,” Ulanday ended.

Kawal Ulanday, Chair, BAYAN-USA, email:
Berna Ellorin, Media Officer, BAYAN-USA, email: