Blog

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.

OUST THE US-ARROYO REGIME!
STOP POLITICAL REPRESSION IN THE PHILIPPINES!
NEVER AGAIN TO MARTIAL LAW!
FREE CONGRESSMAN CRISPIN BELTRAN!
UPHOLD RIGHTS OF THE BATASAN 5!
ESTABLISH TRANSITION COUNCIL!
US TROOPS OUT OF THE PHILIPPINES, IRAQ, & EVERYWHERE!

Contact: Kawal Ulanday: chair@bayanusa.org
Berna Ellorin: mc@bayanusa.org

Breaking News: Luisita union leader shot dead

by Abner Bolos, Gitnang Luzon News Service

From: Gitnang Luson News Service
URL: http://www.gitnangluson.com

TARLAC CITY — Motorcycle-riding gun men shot and killed a union leader in Hacienda Luisita shortly after midnight today, March 17, 2006.

Tirso Cruz, 33, a member of the board of directors of the United Luisita Workers’ Union (ULWU) and Anak Pawis coordinator in Hacienda Luisita was shot and killed by gun men on board a Wave motorcycle at about 12:30 am today in Barangay Pando of Concepcion, Tarlac according to ULWU president Rene Galang.

Cruz was on the way home along with his father from the “puni,” Pampango term for an all-night Lenten ritual, when they were waylaid by the assassins on board a Wave motorcycle . Six empty bullet shells were found at the crime scene, Galang said.

The victim was immediately brought to a hospital but he was pronounced dead on arrival. Cruz, who is also a barangay council member of Pando, is a victim and a key witness in the November 16, 2004 Hacienda Luisita massacre.

Galang said Cruz is actively involved in “people power” protests against the construction of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway project (SCTEP) and the deployment of soldiers inside the hacienda.

Up to the time of his death, Cruz has reportedly received numerous death threats during the strike last year.

“About 50 Cafgu members and soldiers from the 71st ID under Gen. Jovito Palparan are deployed in Barangay Pando and are presently using the management office in the barangay as their headquarters. The soldiers are being used to stop the protests,” Galang said.

“We hold the Arroyo government responsible and condemn this latest act of brutality against the legitimate leaders of the hacienda people. By all indications, this may be another brutal handiwork of soldiers under the 71st ID who have been deployed in the hacienda since March 2005,” he said.

Brutal murder of ULWU board director condemned

GMA: WANTED FOR CONTINUING CRIMES AGAINST DEMOCRACY AND THE FILIPINO PEOPLE — KMU

Workers flood the streets of Manila today under the banner of Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) to defend civil liberties and call for the immediate release of KMU Chairman Emeritus and Anakpawis Rep. Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran.

According to Elmer “Ka Bong” Labog, National President of KMU, the massive protests of the workers and other organizations under Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) only shows that the people will not fear the fascist policies of the Arroyo government.

“Each day we see how the Arroyo government acts in desperation. Just yesterday, posters of people on its wanted list were released which include former Senator Gringo Honasan and others without proving the crimes first. We will not be surprised if the AFP will also include in their wanted posters people from progressive and left-leaning groups. They will not deceive the people. The people know who the friends and foes are, “stresses Labog.

Labog also condemns what he calls a double standard showed by PNP and the whole Arroyo government, “It is apparent that COMELEC Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano, DA Undersecretary Jocjoc Bolante and others have committed grave crimes against the people but the government did not release similar wanted posters so that they will be hunted easily and be held liable to their crimes.”

“The Arroyo government is a coddler and protector of criminals against the people. But if one will fight for the interests of the majority of the people, you will be tagged as an enemy of the state and you will be imprisoned without warrant of arrest, you will be abducted or even killed. This is the kind of justice that this government knows, “said the labor leader.

Meanwhile KMU Spokesperson Prestoline Suyat announce that they will today release in their rally at Plaza Miranda a wanted cardboard poster of Gloria because of her continuing crime against democracy and the Filipino people.

“Gloria is the most wanted criminal for the Filipino people because she is our No.1 Enemy who commits genocide through inhumane wages, violates our democratic rights, and kills our loved ones. Evidence to this is that 65% of the Filipinos want Gloria out of Malacanang,” said Suyat.

Suyat expresses condemnation against the killing of Tirso Cruz, board director of United Luisita Workers Union (ULWU). Cruz was killed with gunshots by suspected military assailants at 12:30 am today in Pando, Concepcion, Tarklac. Cruz just came from a pabasa when he was felled with bullets on his way home by assailants riding a motorcycle.

“The death of Kasamang Tirso only shows the truth that those who fight for decent wages, decent jobs and democratic rights of the people were killed like animals by this government. The silence of Mrs. Arroyo on these killings only shows her condoning of these acts. We appeal for justice to Kasamang Tirso and his family and the many others that felled under this regime, ” Suyat said.

Political persecution

By Carol Pagaduan-Araullo
Chairperson Bagong Alyansang Makabayan
www.bayan.ph

It would be hilarious if it were not deadly serious. A hooded witness who gives his name as Jaime B. Fuentes claims to be an ex-communist cadre and accuses several individuals known to be progressive, or Leftist, in the traditional political nomenclature, of conspiring to commit rebellion. The Department of Justice swallows his suspicious testimony hook, line and sinker.

The incredible witness unwittingly undermines his own testimony by wearing an improvised device to hide his identity. He is widely perceived as a latter-day “Makapili” (a paid spy of the Japanese Occupation whose hallmark was to point an accusing finger against fellow Filipinos while wearing a bayong over his head).

The point is starkly made: under the Arroyo administration, the accused are prevented from confronting their accuser even though this is guaranteed under due process and this injustice is abetted by no less than government prosecutors.

Fuentes thus gets away with his mission of red-baiting and besmirching the reputations of the six progressive party-list representatives and many other leaders of various legitimate and aboveground organizations who have all along espoused unabashedly Leftist politics.

This latest travesty on the rights of illegally detained Representative Crispin Beltran, much respected trade unionist, democrat and nationalist who survived Marcos’ martial law, and the “Batasan 5” party-list congresspersons as well as fellow activist leaders is happening in the midst of unabated extrajudicial killings among their ranks. The latest to fall is Malolos Bayan leader, Ka Santi Teodoro, gunned down once more by what are feared to be this regime’s death squads.

The squid and red scare tactics are standard in the government’s bag of counter-insurgency tricks but they assume a new purpose: to justify intensified and unrelenting attacks on the Left as well as rally support behind the hugely unpopular President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for the tyrannical use of martial law powers to suppress the people; more specifically, the broad array of anti-GMA political forces calling on her to step down.

Part and parcel of the latest red scare tactics is the hype about the so-called alliance between the Communist Party of the Philippines and rebellious sections of the AFP and PNP that has resulted in an elaborate plan to launch a coup d’etat, overthrow the Arroyo regime and set up a military or civilian-military junta in its place.

This Malacañang tall tale deserves a separate discussion all together but at this point an immediate retort is in order: how can the national democratic movement in this country countenance a military or civilian-military junta when its progressive and militant leaders, members and allies would be the first targets for attack by such an undemocratic form of government? This is not speculation; it is historical fact, not just in the Philippine experience but the world over.

Another patent falsehood and one that only a rabidly anti-communist and fascist mind set can concoct and purvey is that the legal and openly functioning Left parties and organizations are actually engaged in rebellion by virtue of their having the same or similar political analysis and program as the CPP/NPA or what is generically termed the “underground” Left.

There is the deliberate refusal to acknowledge that the legal or “aboveground” Left does not engage in nor espouse armed revolution and can therefore not be liable for either rebellion or sedition under the law.

Corollary to this is the obfuscation of the fact that with the repeal of RA 1700 or the Anti-Subversion Law in 1992, former or even current members of the CPP are not engaged in any criminal act as long as they do not carry arms themselves or call on others to do the same to overthrow the duly-constituted government (which many pundits say does not apply to the Arroyo administration).

Of course the follow-up line is that the legal Left maintains links with the armed revolutionary movement and its organizations should also therefore be proscribed, its leaders and members arrested and prosecuted.

Specific to the progressive party lists like Bayan Muna, Gabriela Women’s Party and Anakpawis, the innuendo by rabid anti-communist groups like Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales’ Philippine Democratic Socialist Party, is that the former channel their countryside development funds to the NPA and NPA-controlled areas.

Curiously this is echoed by a Jesuit priest, Fr. Romeo Intengan, who the Left has long-ago described as a crypto-fascist, and whose “research” into Bayan Muna et al “illegal” activities is lauded no end by Malacañang.

Nevertheless, they have failed, time and again, to prove this preposterous charge and merely resort to black propaganda such as government-produced “documentaries” to keep repeating the lie until, like Gobles, they hope it sticks.

May we just point out that the direct persecutors of the legal Left in this country are the police and military forces who stand accused of extrajudicial killings, massacres, torture and other grievous human rights abuses as well as their cover-up; who are useless when it comes to running after the likes of COMELEC Commissioner Garcillano and Agriculture Department Undersecretary “Jocjoc” Bolante, both widely believed to be involved in egregious crimes but are super efficient and gung-ho when it comes to running after activists; and who are cited by the government’s own Commission on Human Rights as the most notorious human rights violators, are subject of Congressional investigations for their involvement in rampant jueteng and smuggling not to mention wholesale electoral fraud.

Dr. Carol P. Araullo, is the Vice-Chairperson for External Affairs of the ILPS