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Never again! Filipino-Americans condemn Arroyo’s imposition of a new martial law in the Philippines; affirm call for total withdrawal of US support for Arroyo’s fascist dictatorship

With her Justice Secretary caught red-handed by the media with the draft declaration ready to be signed, the Arroyo administration has resorted to flat-out lying to mask the intended return of a full-scale declaration of martial law in the Philippines. Filipinos in the United States, with the largest community of Filipinos living outside of the Philippines, many of whom left in mass exodus precisely to escape the intensified political repression under Marcosian Martial Law, affirm more stridently than ever our total opposition to the return of Martial Law under the fake and morally-bankrupt Arroyo regime.

As the Arroyo administration swiftly advances towards its unveiling as a full-blown fascist dictatorship, we reiterate our call for the U.S. government to withdraw all forms of support, especially the multi-billion allowance of American tax dollars allotted in military aid, to a regime that must end for the good of both the Filipino and American people.

Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales Jr.’s drafting of Executive Order 467, which proclaims the Philippines under a state of national emergency and pushes for the quelling of so-called lawlessness, should sound off the loudest wakeup call for the Filipino people and global advocates of human rights. This is tantamount to an official declaration of martial law and fascist takeover.

The Filipino people cannot afford the human cost of another of martial rule in the Philippines. We will not stand silent as the days of darkness so bitterly wrought out by People Power 1 return to damn the Filipino people back to hell. We will not stand for the return of fascist rule, of military authority over people’s rights, of torture, assassinations, civilian militia, warrantless arrests and detainments, military harassment, curfews, media censorship, and seizure of businesses that seeped through the nation under Marcos’ draconian iron fist.

The global human rights community also cannot afford the record-breaking tally of human rights violations and deaths that will surely continue and escalate if martial law will be allowed to proceed and develop full force in the Philippines once again.

Even with Gonzales’ outright admittance of the nature of the Executive Order 467 draft to declare a state of lawless violence, rebellion, and therefore justify a state of national emergency, Arroyo continues to tow a line of deceit and dishonesty towards the Filipino people by masking the order as a shallow matter of Land Regulatory Authority.

Meanwhile she continues with her endless thievery of the people’s democratic rights and slaughter of the Philippine Constitution’s integrity with the forceful implementation of the Calibrated Preemptive Response (CPR) and Executive Order (EO) 464.

While the CPR brutally squashes the people’s right to peacefully assemble in protest, EO 464 spits at the co-equal authority of the Senate and Congress to hold congressional hearings with and challenge the Executive Branch, virtually protecting the Arroyo regime from having to answer to the people and their representatives on any official matter of concern.

Under EO 464, Arroyo has guarded herself from having to answer any of Congress’s legitimate queries and investigations, including over her wasteful pooling of P50 million in public funds to pay off top-billed US lobby firm Venable LLC in a hush-hush contract to lobby for U.S. support for charter changes to the Philippine Constitution. The U.S. lobby firm’s appeal would also gather more U.S. financial commitment for the Arroyo regime in the form of grants and loans, outside of the $80 billion in military aid already allotted to Arroyo from American tax dollars.

While Arroyo’s brand of the iron fist persists, US financial, political and military support continues to pour in to help reconstruct fascism in the Philippines under the guise of the so-called war on terror. The population of U.S. troops increases exponentially as more and more ships, such as the unidentified U.S. military ship that has landed on the shores of Basilan and Zamboanga this past week, much to the denial of Malacanang, proves.

By providing for the Arroyo regime, the U.S. provides for the establishment of martial law and state terror in the Philippines. It forces working Americans to foot the bill for the systematic killings of activists, trade union leaders, lawyers, progressive party-list members, journalists, church workers, and human rights advocates in the Philippine. While the American majority suffers from the Bush budget cuts on social services– most despicably illustrated with the devastated and impoverished communities displaced not by the Katrina disaster, but by the criminal negligence of the Bush administration– American tax dollars are funneled towards terror projects such as the Arroyo government.

The U.S. should stop all support to the Arroyo regime and stop making a mockery of the Filipino people’s national sovereignty. This includes immediate termination of contracts with lobby firms and a comprehensive end to political meddling in Philippine affairs. This includes the withdrawal of U.S. troops to support state terror against the Filipino people.

We also appeal to the international Filipino migrant community to likewise assist in constricting all forms of financial support to the corrupt Arroyo regime by opting not to remit their dollar earnings through traditional bank-to-bank channels, where the Arroyo government automatically demands a significant percentage of your deposits, but through non-traditional door-to-door channels instead.

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is a fool if she believes such reproachable acts against the Filipino people will go unchecked. Each day spent at the Presidential seat she stole from the people’s sovereign will only confirms the day when her stolen power will be pounded out decisively and reclaimed by the Filipino people.

The daily mass demonstrations and protest actions all over the Philippines and especially towards Mendiola reveal the truth about Arroyo–that she is destined for a downfall of epic proportions, reminiscent of the people’s extraction of her ill-fated predecessors Marcos and Estrada. That the establishment of a multi-sectoral and truly democratic transition council is the only decent option to protecting the democratic rights and interests of the Filipino people in the face of rampant corruption towed by one too many traditional politicians.

We applaud the unwavering bravery and resistance of our compatriots who have been bloodied and bruised by the whipping batons and crushing shields of the fascist police in these past weeks since the imposition of the CPR. We salute the fierce commitment of those who have been subjected to unlawful arrest and detainment in asserting the people’s right to criticize the government.

These daily heroic acts are the work of the true protectors of the Filipino people’s rights, the Filipino people themselves.

We look forward with keen direction upon the Philippines and especially Mendiola because we know the mass demonstrations cannot and will not stop. As long as fascism exists under Arroyo, blood will continue to spill over the streets of Manila and all over the Philippines not because of the people, but because this is the Arroyo administration’s response when forced to confront the will of the people’s movement.

With the inspiration of our valiant compatriots back home, we too will not be cowed into deafening silence. We pledge complete support for our compatriots back home by exposing the truth about the Arroyo fascist dictatorship to the world, by educating and mobilizing Filipinos in the
U.S. We will heighten and increase mass actions against martial law, state terrorism, and gather international pressure towards the total ouster of the US-Arroyo regime.

OUST THE US-ARROYO REGIME!
NO TO A NEW MARTIAL LAW IN THE PHILIPPINES!
STOP THE KILLING OF PHILIPPINE ACTIVISTS! NO TO POLITICAL REPRESSION!
WITHDRAW ALL US SUPPORT TO THE ARROYO FASCIST DICTATORSHIP!

Fil-Ams chant “Oust Gloria” in cities across the US, including the White House gates, as BAYAN USA joins hundreds of thousands in nationwide march for peace

Washington DC/ San Francisco–Calls for Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s ouster from the Presidential office in Malacanang joined anti-war chants across the United States as the national Filipino alliance BAYAN USA

led Filipino-Americans across the country in the September 24th National March Against War. BAYAN USA led Filipino-American contingents in Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle.

“There is no other US puppet who has been more subservient to the dictates of Bush’s war and pushed for its total expansion abroad than Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo,” stated BAYAN USA chair Kawal Ulanday.

“Disguised as a war on terror, Arroyo has vacuumed in $80 billion yearly in US military aid to reinstate martial law in the Philippines. This is the unseen face of war that Americans need to know about,” Ulanday continued. “Ousting Gloria is part of the comprehensive call to stop the US war machine.”

In the nation’s capitol, red and blue Bayan flags, along with flags of Filipinos Against the War, Anakbayan, Migrante, and NY Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines blazed across the front of the White House as these organizations led Fil-Ams and allies in lambasting the Bush administration mastermind involvement in supplanting the funds and blueprint for state terror in the Philippines under its puppet Arroyo.

Present in the 150+ BAYAN USA-led formation were allies such as the Troops Out Now Coalition, International Action Center, Katrina Solidarity Contingent, Fight Imperialism Stand Together (FIST), and many others.

In San Francisco and Los Angeles, BAYAN USA flags marched in hundreds-strong formations with the International League of People’s Struggle (ILPS) and alongside allies such as the Asian Pacific Islander Coalition Against the War, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, and La Raza. BAYAN USA organizations Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (CHRP), League of Filipino Students (LFS), Pilipinos Organizing Workers for Empowerment and Respect (POWER), Anakbayan Los Angeles, and Habi Arts led chants calling for Arroyo’s removal and the removal of US troops from the Philippines.

In Seattle, BAYAN USA member organization Anakbayan, Philippine US-Solidarity Organization (PUSO) and delegates to the International Solidarity Mission (ISM) in the Philippines alerted marchers to the heinous human rights atrocities committed under Arroyo’s command of the military.

In a cry of indignation, ISM delegate Donnalyn Denina, chair of Gabriela Network Seattle, recalled the horrors she witness as she participated in a fact-finding mission to investigate human rights violations in Surigao, Northern Mindanao, last month. BAYAN USA fielded over 40 US delegates to the ISM.

“There are over 4200 documented cases of human rights violations under Arroyo’s four-year term, including extrajudicial killings, executions, and torture, a rate that skyrockets over Marcos’ track record. And the Bush-Arroyo blood compact has US taxpayers footing the bill for this bloodshed, ” Denina stated in front of marchers.

In a speech delivered in front of the Washington Monument, amongst a crowd of half a million, BAYAN USA representative Berna Ellorin honored the martyrdom of “those who gave their lives in struggle against the
horrors of US-sponsored state terror, including Nestle strike union leader Ding Fortuna, human rights worker Eden Marcellana, and many others. Their spirits are with us and their struggle will carry on. The US-Arroyo’s Martial Law is a system that believes that by killing our leaders, they can kill our movement. But they are dead wrong. We gain momentum from the example of those who did not flinch from the terror of the state. Gloria has secured her own imminent demise from office.”

Corruption and betrayal in the Philippines: The anniversary of martial law

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Statement of Anakbayan Honolulu

On September the 21st, 1972, Ferdinand Edralin Marcos, the tenth president of the Republic of the Philippines, declared martial law. Ushering in an era of severe oppression, Marcos subverted economic growth and suffocated political and civil freedoms. Dissension was quelled by extrajudicial killings and by other unlawful means, leaving masses of men, women, and children to suffer under a police state of the worst kind. Marcos was responsible for graft, corruption, cronyism, and innumerable human rights violations. In the unprecedented People Power Movement, one to three million people gathered between Ortigas and Cubao streets in Metro Manila in 1986, leading to the ultimate removal of Marcos from his self-made dictatorial and authoritarian post.

Presently, we face an illegally elected president whose regime resembles that of Marcos: Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. A wiretapped conversation between Arroyo and the commissioner of the official poll body COMELEC was released in June this year, in which Arroyo references the fraudulent nature of her reelection in 2004. Arroyo had originally come into power in 2001, and has since done little to improve the lives of Filipinos. Several citizens have asserted their democratic right to demand change. Conversely, the way the government has chosen to respond to this has been to amass an estimated total of more than 37,000 cases of human rights violations. The victims of these violations are those who want nothing more than should be expected in a free nation—autonomy of the state from foreign nations, a transparent government, a functional and productive economy, adequate food and water, education, and healthcare access. The current administration fails to meet these basic needs.

The administration’s approach has been to politically maneuver around the law, and to avoid formulating sustainable solutions to the socioeconomic and political issues that have ailed the Philippines for 440 years, beginning during the colonial period. Arroyo is reticent to embrace progressive measures. Instead, she has stabbed her people in the back by violating the constitution again, in agreeing to US-Philippine military activities, and structuring policies to fit comfortably with those of the Bush administration. Arroyo finds logic in supporting unconstitutional schemes with the American president, and yet she cannot feed and shelter half of the population—a population that did not even elect her. This, among several other charges being brought against her, constitutes egregious corruption, following in a legacy of brutal betrayal.

The Filipino people have suffered and have been displaced economically, socially, and nationally. Justice is long overdue. It is for these reasons that we demand the immediate removal of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from her stolen seat at Malacanang, whether it comes by her resignation or her ouster. She stole the election, and thus has stolen from the Filipino people. Every tactic, every strategy, and every political action she takes—is illegal because she did not constitutionally earn her position as the President of the Philippines. On September the 21st–the anniversary of Marcos’s declaration of martial law–let us remember the ultimate power of the people to act and to incite change.

Uphold Philippine Sovereignty
Arroyo: Resign or Be Ouster
Promote the Human Rights of the Improvished and the Persecuted
Maintain the Dignity and Integrity of the Philippine Constitution
Retain Autonomy—US Troops Out of the Philppines

Statement of BAYAN USA on the 33rd Anniversary of Martial Law in the Philippines: US must withdraw all support for Arroyo's ongoing bloodbath of Philippine activists and undeclared martial law!

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On this 33rd Anniversary of one of the darkest periods in Philippine history, BAYAN USA and allied Filipinos in the United States cry outrage and condemn the number one violator of human rights who has single-handedly brought an even bloodier martial law back to brutalize the Filipino people—Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Furthermore, as workers and residents of the United States, we actively call for an all-out withdrawal of US financial, moral, political, and military support for the Arroyo regime. Under Arroyo, the Philippines is the number one recipient of US military aid in the Asia-Pacific region, and number four in the world. $80 billion US tax dollars has been allotted towards the building the US-Arroyo regime’s machinery of state terror that attacks the daily lives of innocent civilians in the Philippines.

Undeclared Martial Law

Unlike the martial law of Marcos which was used to quell the then- anti-fascist, anti-imperialist, and anti-war clamor in the Philippines, today’s martial law under Arroyo is undeclared and disguised as a so-called “war on terror”. Arroyo’s early embracing of Bush’s total war policy in the Philippines has sown a four-year old bloodbath of activists, progressive party list leaders, lawyers, journalists, priests, and human rights advocates whose only common denominator has been their cry for justice in the midst of an anti-people government. Blessed with the backing of US government, the Arroyo regime has exploited the jargon of anti-terrorism to justify a witch-hunt targeting both high-profile and low-profile voices of opposition.

In fact, no other government in recent times, including that of Marcos’ internationally-recognized dictatorship, has tracked the highest record of human rights violations (HRV’s) than that of Arroyo. A total of 4,207 cases of human rights violations committed by the Arroyo administration from January 2001 to June 2005 were presented have been documented by the human rights organization Karapatan. The cases affected 232,796 individuals, 24,299 families and 237 communities. At least 400 were victims of summary execution; 110 were victims of forced disappearances. Twenty of those killed were human rights volunteers.

Arroyo’s systematic approach to politically-motivated assassinations and mass murders since her ascendance to office in 2001 has reached a unprecedented daily frequency during the first half of 2005. Over 105 activists and leaders of progressive party-lists such as Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, and Gabriela Women’s Party have been murdered under Arroyo’s military command. The massacre of seven striking farm workers in Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac on November 16, 2004 signified a heightened a wave of killings, violent attacks and vilification campaigns more widespread than from the past three years.

The most recent assassinations of Pastor Raul Domingo, a human rights worker with KARAPATAN, and BAYAN leader Norman Bocar are the latest in an intricate pattern of extra-judicial killings of Anti-Arroyo forces, while summary executions, torture, and forced disappearances have also been consistent and are on the rise.

Rewards for the Butchers, Death for Civilians

As reward for their blind loyalty, officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), most notably General Jovito Palaparan, are promoted into higher, more influential positions. Palparan earned the title of “the butcher Mindoro” when he masterminded wide-scale execution tactics against legal mass organizations that nearly annihilated genuinely progressive people’s organizations in Mindoro, Southern Tagalog. This can be most brutally seen with the murders of internationally-renown human rights worker Eden Marcellana, Secretary-General of KARAPATAN Southern Tagalog, and peasant leader Eddie Gumanoy, chair of KASAMA Southern Tagalog. Since then, the vilification campaign against legal activists falsely branded as elements of the New People’s Army (NPA) or legal people’s organizations falsely branded as Communist fronts has blown up to a nationwide scale. Arroyo has since deployed Palparan to imploy that same terror campaigns in the Eastern Visayas and now Nueva Ecija.

The recently quelled impeachment charges thrown out the window by the pro-administration House majority earlier in September not only included the more publicly-digested charges of bribery, graft and corruption, but rampant and heinous human rights atrocities committed by Arroyo’s military. In an internationally-coordinated solidarity mission held in late August of the year, over 100 international delegates traveled to five areas in the country to investigate cases of human rights violation. What resulted was an International People’s Tribunal where the likes of international human rights lawyers such as Lennox Hinds and endorsers such as former US Attorney General Ramsey Clarke found both Arroyo and Bush guilty of crimes against humanity.

State Terror in the Philippines Equals State Terror for Americans

The yearly multi-billion dollar allowance sucked in from the US government has made possible a well-developed and institutionalized martial law in the Philippines. This is not only at the bloody expense of Filipinos, but of Americans as well.

The criminal neglect and under-prioritization of genuine social services, education, healthcare, democratic reforms, and social alleviations of the American people in favor of the expansion of terrorist warfare abroad has left the overwhelming majority of Americans and Filipinos in America in oppressive and desperate situations. The widening disparity between the privileged few and the exploited majority is the result of the perverse outlook of the Bush administration and its mishandling of our money. This is most clearly illustrated by the suffering Black communities of Louisiana who bore the brunt of the Katrina catastrophe, but received zero to little government relief. Instead, their struggle for survival was met with criminalization and enforced US militarization as the Katrina disaster, has been conveniently exploited as a pretext to advance a martial law against poor Black communities in the US.

This is also illustrated by the ongoing criminalization suffered by Filipino immigrants in the US in the form of unjust deportations, detainments, racial-profiling, and immigrant- scapegoating. While migrant Filipinos pay taxes to the US government as a social obligation, they shoulder the added burden of supporting loved ones back home. While their tax dollars beef up the war budget, their remittances back the Philippines are plundered by the Arroyo administration by way of rampant corruption. Arroyo not only illustrated this through her plundering of federal funds to advance her campaign machinery in 2004, but even the loyalties of her co-horts abroad, such as Philippine Consulate General Cecilia Rebong, stationed in New York, are bought with Arroyo-sanctioned lifestyles of lavish spending with government allowances.

Common Foe, One Struggle

Our cry for justice for the Filipino victims of the US-Arroyo regime is in solidarity with the struggles of immigrants, people of color, and working-class people in the United States who themselves must face martial law-like conditions with respect to Post-9/11 backlash and now the Katrina disaster. The tenants of the current US domestic warfare that strips Americans of their civil liberties and criminalizes these communities can be seen with the implementation of the Patriot Act and Homeland Security Act. In fact, Arroyo’s support for the passing of an Anti-Terrorism Bill and National ID System brings the US blueprint for domestic warfare to Philippine shores.

In this regard, the struggles of Filipinos against Arroyo’s martial law cannot be separated from the struggles of the American majority against US war of aggression both within and outside of the borders of the United States. This makes it critical for the victims US war and US puppets such as Arroyo to unite in a cohesive analysis and movement that can connect what only seems like disparate oppressions into one global epidemic. A broad united front of Filipinos and Americans offers viable and concrete leverage when strategizing for the liberation from such oppressions.

Oust the Fascist Arroyo Dictatorship

Arroyo has proven her incompetence and insincerity as head of the Philippine state. Her resort to the violent fist of martial law to quell a legitimate people’s movement against dire poverty and grave injustice is the mark of true tyranny and fascist dictatorship.

The myth of a People Power fatigue is the rhetoric touted by the US-Arroyo regime to desperately stunt what is an unstoppable and insurmountable hunger by the Filipino people for social and economic justice.

In Arroyo’s place, we support the establishment of a national transition council, comprised of multi-sectoral representation of the democratic majority of Filipinos, to best guide our homeland to a better tomorrow.

We continue to ask for an all-out isolation of Arroyo, by demanding US war funds be given back to the people and not to the US-Arroyo killing machines.

Oust The US-Arroyo Regime! Yes to the Establishment of a Democratic
Transition Council! Justice for the Victims of Arroyo’s Undeclared Martial
Law! Stop the Killing of Activists and Political Repression in the
Philippines! No to the National ID System and Anti-Terrorism Bill! US Troops
Out of the Philippines! Resume NDFP-GRP Peace Talks!