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#DefendBatasan4!

BAYAN-USA denounces the issuance of bogus warrants of arrests for renowned former congresspeople and freedom fighters Satur Ocampo, Liza Maza, Rafael Mariano and Teddy Casino. The excavation of 12 year-old charges that were buried long ago for lack of any credibility is another example of the Trump-backed Duterte regime’s relentless attacks on all who dare challenge the regime’s drive toward dictatorship.

 

Background

In 2006 under former President–and now Speaker of the House–Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, trumped-up charges of rebellion were filed against six progressive party-list representatives including Ocampo, Maza, Casino and Mariano, as well as Crispin Beltran and Joel Virador, who came to be known as the Batasan 6. While the Supreme Court eventually dismissed the rebellion case, the Arroyo government shot back by filing three fabricated murder complaints in December 2006 against Ocampo, Maza, Casino and Mariano. One murder charge was dismissed by the Guimba, Nueva Ecija Regional Trial Court, and then in July 2008, Palayan Regional Trial Court Judge Evelyn Turla found no probable cause in the two murder charges against the four, citing prosecutorial misconduct and lack of evidence. Now, ten years later, on July 11, 2018, the same judge suspiciously reversed her ruling and issued arrest warrants for Ocampo, Maza, Casino and Mariano, despite the absence of any new information and without any explanation.



 

Feeble Attempt to Disguise Repression as Law

This maneuver takes a page from the old Gloria Macapagal Arroyo-George W. Bush counter-insurgency playbook, utilizing the judicial system as a tool of repression. And in just the past month alone, we have witnessed the Duterte regime using every weapon in its dirty bag of US-designed counter-insurgency tricks to silence opposition to Duterte’s reign of terror: the outright murder of peasant, indigenous, and faith leaders; Philippine National Police and security forces of the NutriAsia company violently beating and arresting workers on strike; the massive militarization of indigenous communities in Lianga forcing thousands of people to evacuate; and the underhanded appointment of former president and notorious human rights violator Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as Speaker of the House. The revival of discredited charges against the Batasan 4 that were originally filed under Arroyo is a despicable use of the judiciary as a tool of political repression. The offering of a bounty for the arrest of the Batasan 4 by Attorney Ferdinand Topacio further exemplifies the impunity that the regime is fostering.

 

BAYAN-USA stands in solidarity with the Batasan 4 and demands that the ridiculous warrants of arrest be withdrawn and the case dismissed. We join with the Filipino people and defenders of genuine democracy and freedom worldwide in demanding an end to the regime’s fascist tyranny, in whatever form it takes.

 

Please action on behalf of the Batasan 4 today, and respond to the Movement Against Tyranny’s appeal for letters of solidarity. For more information please contact Ms. Gel Marcelino at (0947) 5891578 and email your solidarity messages to stoptyrannyph@gmail.com. Sample letter below.

 

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Dear friends,

 

Greetings of peace!

 

You are probably aware by now of the dire predicament being faced by former Bayan Muna representatives Satur Ocampo and Teddy Casino, former Anakpawis representative and former Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano, and former Gabriela representative and currently NAPC Lead Convenor Liza Maza. The four were issued warrants of arrest for double murder last July 11, 2018 by Judge Turla of the Palayan, Nueva Ecija RTC.

 

The WAO were issued in relation to a 12-year-old case that should have been dismissed at the outset due to lack of evidence, witnesses who lacked credibility and amid a campaign of political persecution by the administration of Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo versus the party lists under the Makabayan Bloc.

 

Attached are materials that you can use for reference.

 

We ask you to sign the attached support statement and/or issue your own so that the judge may be enlightened to dismiss the case and withdraw the WAO.  

 

Maraming salamat.

 

Sr. MARY JOHN MANANZAN

 

Dr. CAROL ARAULLO

 

Convenors, MAT

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

SAMPLE LETTER

 

Injustice casts a long shadow.

We condemn the issuance of arrest warrants by the Palayan, Nueva Ecija court for former Makabayan representatives Teddy Casino, Satur Ocampo and former Department of Agrarian Reform secretary Rafael Mariano and current National Anti-Poverty Commission Convenor Sec. Liza Maza.

 

There is no justifiable reason for the order of Judge Evelyn A. Atienza-Turla dated July 11, 2018.

 

The arrest warrants against the four come ten years after Turla found no probable cause to uphold ridiculous charges of murder. The latest order comes without any explanation for the reversal despite being based on the same evidence, facts and circumstances.

 

There was no murder case to begin with as far as one supposed target, Jimmy Peralta, died in a vehicular accident, as attested by police spot reports.

 

That the four lawmakers ordered the killings of Peralta and one Carlito Bayudang to ensure Bayan Muna victory is an outright lie, a concoction by military handlers of false witnesses.

 

Prosecutors failed to subscribe the affidavits of complainants and their witnesses. They failed to validate or confirm preposterous claims that parroted each other.

 

Judge Atienza-Turla should have dismissed the obvious fabricated murder charges a decade back.

 

That it comes amid rising tyranny of the Duterte administration only casts suspicion on the use of the judiciary for political persecution.

 

The reincarnation of the old Inter-agency Legal Action Group (IALAG) under then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as the Inter-Agency Committee on Legal Action (IACLA) is part of the Duterte regime’s assault on pro-democracy forces, which includes efforts to proscribe as terrorists more than 600 individuals, including legal personalities like Ocampo.

We urge Judge Atienza-Turla to reverse a clearly unjust order. Various courts and agencies have already thrown out similar or related cases. Bayan Muna has even been awarded damages on the perjured statements of witnesses.

 

We demand an end to the persecution of  Satur, Liza, Teddy, Paeng and all victims of trumped-up charges.

 

Call to Action #BoycottNutriAsia Support Workers Strike!

19 NutriAsia strike workers, supporters, and journalists

On July 30th, at around 3 p.m., around 50 security guards of NutriAsia and 20 members of Duterte’s Philippine National Police in Marilao and Meycauayan violently dispersed the workers while an ecumenical mass was being held at the picketline near the factory gates. (Source: Altermediya)

We condemn the Philippine National Police’s violent dispersal of the NutriAsia Workers’ picket line in Marilao, Bulacan, Philippines which led to the injury (inc. one elderly grandmother) and the arrest of at least 19 including several workers, youth leaders,  journalists, and supporters. They were also denied access to lawyers. Those arrested included long-time community organizers from Southern California, Eric Tandoc and Hiyasmin Saturay. As of August 1st, the 19 arrested were released based on “further investigation.”

Our Demands:

    • We demand all charges to be dropped and justice for Hiyasmin Saturay, Eric Tandoc, and all those arrested at the NutriAsia picketline!

    • We call for the end of the Trump-backed Duterte regime’s union repression and union-busting tactics!

    • We call for justice for all those injured and unjustly arrested by the PNP’s violent dispersal!

    • We demand NutriAsia fulfill the demands of NutriAsia Workers to end contractualization and to regularize their workforce!

TAKE ACTION:

  1. Launch quick response protests at local Philippine Consulates

  2. Conduct public education, flyering, and outreach at local Filipino grocery stores

  3. Write public statements of solidarity and invite others to support

  4. Boycott NutriAsia Products! Conduct outreach at markets that carry NutriAsia products

  5. Donate to the workers on the picketline (food, water, rice, etc.) tinyurl.com/SupportNutriasiaStrike

  6. Host educational discussions and presentations about the NutriAsia strike:  #BoycottNutriAsia Educational Workshop

  7. Produce art, social media memes, posters, and flyers to inform the public about the workers situation in the Philippines and the need to end contractualization.

  8. Social Media Prompt: Post a video or Photo of yourself throwing away NutriAsia products because they’re trash! (see prompt instructions)
  9. Launch protests at international distributors of NutriAsia to garner widespread support and media attention (see list below)

  10. SIGN THE PETITION:  https://goo.gl/forms/sFQ4XsCVXgErDMe13

CALLS

    • Boycott NutriAsia!

    • End Contractualization Now! Regularize NutriAsia Workers!

    • End Trade Union Repression and State Violence!

MATERIALS:

  • Hashtags:  #BoycottNutriAsia  #SupportNutriAsiaWorkers  #NutriAsiaStrike

  • Tag @NutriAsia in your posts to increase public pressure

  • Download and post Selfie Signs +  Facebook Cover Photo

  • Download Flyers to handout available in English & Tagalog

BACKGROUND

NutriAsia Inc., a multi-million dollar company based in Bulacan, Philippines, manages the production of popular condiments such as Datu Puti, Mang Tomas, Jufran, Silver Swan, Golden Fiesta, Locally, and Papa.  NutriAsia is a highly profitable company earning as much as P27 million (over $500,000) per day. Joselito D. Campos Jr., the owner of NutriAsia and CEO of Del Monte Pacific, has a family net worth of $650 million (2017).  Amongst their 1,400 workers, only 100 are considered “regular” permanent employees while a vast majority of them are considered “contractual” workers–a designation that puts them in an extremely more exploitable and unstable condition.

NutriAsia workers are forced to work for P380 ($7.11 USD) a day for an 8 hour shift, but many workers face 12-16 hour long days and dangerous working conditions.  Workplace injuries have become commonplace, with temperatures reaching greater than 100°F at their work stations, while lacking proper workplace equipment to handle products over 200°F.  Many were compelled to hide their injuries at the risk of being fired.

With the support of Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), Workers’ Movement for Change Federation, and Nagkakaisang Manggagawa ng NutriAsia (NMN), the NutriAsia workers have continued to organize for their rights and oppose state repression under the Duterte administration.  In May, NutriAsia Workers launched a picket line to oppose the layoff of 75 contract workers. As the strike continued in June, NutriAsia sent 300 Philippine National Police (PNP) officers to harass the workers and violently disperse them in an attempt to break their strike, resulting in 20 arrests and four people being hospitalized.  According to the International Trade Union Confederation, the Philippines has been considered one of the worst countries for workers in the world.

The NutriAsia workers, who were violently dispersed last month are still holding down their picketline. They are currently in dialogue with the management, but the management is pushing to continue production, which has been stopped since the strike started. If the company does not restart production in August, they won’t be able to produce enough of the products for the increasing demand for the upcoming months, especially the Christmas season.  There are growing concerns the management will send more police and state forces to violently disperse their picketline.

We call on all member organizations and concerned people worldwide to support the NutriAsia workers on strike and to widen the support for their struggle.

Sources:

Video of Arrest of Hiyas Saturay and Eric Tandoc

Altermediya Statement

Video:  Altermediya   

Bulatlat

Video:  Altermediya   

 

CALIFORNIA

JFC INTERNATIONAL.

7101 E. Slauson Ave, Los Angeles CA 90040 (323) 721-6100

MANDALAY TRADING

903 S. Azusa Ave., City of Industry CA 91748 (626) 581-1860

FOOD FOR ALL, INC.

18461 Railroad St., City of Industry CA 91748  (626) 272-9419

G.L. FOOD WHOLESALE

227 Hudson Ave., City of Industry CA 91744  (626) 855-5391 / 5392

J & A IMPORTERS, INC

4398 Ayers Ave., Vernon CA 90023  (323) 780-3998

WALONG MARKETING

6281 Regio Ave, Buena Park CA 90620  (714) 521-8899

FOREMOST FOODS

2883 Surveyor St., Pomona CA 91768  (909) 525-9500 ext 111

KHONG GUAN CORP

30068 Eigenbrodt Way, Union City CA 94587  (510) 487-7800 ext. 103

HAWAII

FAMILY FOODS CO.

1043 Opakapaka St., Kapolei, HI 96707

NEW YORK / NEW JERSEY

UNITED FOOD OF ASIA

287 Vandervoort Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211  (718) 388-5570

DIAGREX INTL

10-16 Aquarium Dr., Secaucus NJ 07094  (201) 420-8595

GOLDEN FORTUNE

55 Hook Rd, Bayonne NJ 07002  (201) 823-0800 / 9880

MARYLAND

2A MARKETING CENTER

7313  Livingston Rd, Oxon Hill MD 20745  (301)839-9625

RHEE BROS., INC.

7461 Coca-Cola Dr., Hanover MD 21076  (410) 381-9000 x1167

ILLINOIS

GOLDEN COUNTRY

2355 S Blue Island Ave, Chicago IL 60608  (773) 818-2942

TEXAS

ITC INTERTRADE INC.

1505 Sawyer St, Unit B, Houston TX 77007  (662) 750-4111

 

Enough Is Enough! Tama na! Sobra na! SONA 2018 Unites the Filipino People for Genuine Freedom from Duterte’s Tyranny

Enough Is Enough! Tama na! Sobra na!

SONA 2018 Unites the Filipino People for Genuine Freedom from Duterte’s Tyranny

No one is buying Duterte’s wholesale betrayal of the Philippine nation and its people.

Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) 2018 address attempts to force-feed the Filipino people a litany of new empty promises for developing the economy, eradicating corruption, and securing the welfare of the people.  But no smokescreen is thick enough to hide the extreme poverty, impunity, subservience to foreign powers, human rights atrocities, martial law and creeping dictatorship that have marked life in the Philippines for the past two years under Duterte.

No amount of repackaging can disguise the fact that Duterte is promising an intensification of the same bankrupt neoliberal economic priorities, wars of repression, foreign intervention, and political maneuvers to normalize and institutionalize open fascism that have been the hallmark of his presidency since day one.

The Filipino people are confronting Duterte’s lies with united resistance. Across classes, sectors, ages, genders, provinces, political views, theologies, and oceans, the people are protesting together in a historic expression of unity against Duterte’s tyranny.

While the US-Duterte regime continues to claim the success of his war against criminality, the majority of people demand an end to his war on the poor and the impunity with which his police and armed forces reign on the street. In his speech he criticizes human rights defenders saying “Your concern is human rights, mine is human lives.” Are the thousands of people murdered by state forces not proof enough of the true aims of these operations? There is a sharp contrast between what Duterte says and the reality everyday people face in the Philippines.

While Duterte’s Build, Build, Build economic program will squander public funds for infrastructure projects that only benefit big foreign companies and local oligarchs, the people demand national industrialization and free land distribution to generate lasting, stable sources of livelihood in a productive economy that is developed for the interest of the masses. Does the travesty that the government has chosen to increase rice imports instead of investing in the development of local farmers and to evict thousands of people from their homes to clear the way for Build, Build, Build projects not expose the bankruptcy of this approach?

While Duterte has implemented the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) to squeeze more money from the poor and lower taxes paid by the rich, the people demand an increase in the minimum wage to livable levels and an end to labor contractualization schemes that destabilize employment and force more workers in poverty. Is the reality that 21 million Filipinos live in extreme poverty and subsist on barely over $1 USD/PhP60 per day while the prices of basic necessities like electricity and rice soar out of reach and overall government debt continues to climb not proof enough that TRAIN will never address the root causes of poverty in the Philippines?

While Duterte offers federalism and Charter Change as a scheme to foster democracy and transparency in government, the people demand an end to Duterte’s attempts to eliminate political rivals and further concentrate power in his own hands. Without a fundamental change in the social structure of the Philippines, how can a change in merely the form of government or tweaks to the constitution provide lasting benefit for the people?

While Duterte welcomes an increase in U.S. military presence, use of territory, and direct involvement in so-called counter-terrorism operations in the Philippines, the people demand an end to such blatant violations of Philippine sovereignty and such one-sided agreements as the Mutual Defense Treaty, Visiting Forces Agreement, and Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement. Why would the people want more violence against women like the cases of Nicole and Jennifer Laude, another Mamasapano or Tubbataha Reef debacle, or the expansion of U.S. occupation of Philippine military facilities in Cagayan de Oro and Oyster Bay?

While Duterte touts the millions of dollars in loans from China for his Build Build Build program and the reconstruction of Marawi City and allows the Chinese military to build installations in Philippine territory in the West Philippine Sea, the people demand an end to the selling out of Philippine sovereignty to another imperialist power. How can $322 million in loans from China for the rebuilding of Marawi ever benefit the 400,000 evacuees when the loans are geared to benefit big tourism and foreign development interests?

While Duterte brushes aside peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and threatens to crush the New People’s Army before the end of 2018, the people continue calling for the resumption of peace negotiations as a way to address the economic and social inequity which lie at the root of the armed conflict in the country. If one truly wants a durable peace to take hold in the Philippines, does it not make more sense to pursue the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) rather than all-out war?

While Duterte tries to justify the more than year-long imposition of martial law in Mindanao and threatens to expand it over the entire country, the people demand the immediate end to martial law and reject proposals to amend the Human Security Act or institute a National ID System as ploys to further sanction state repression and to contain and control any opposition to the regime’s agenda.  How will adding to the 432,380 Moro and indigenous people who have been forcibly displaced from their homes by militarization, 351 people who have been arrested on trumped up charges, 163 victims of politically-motivated killings, or 42,127 schools, churches, homes, plazas and other public spaces which have been occupied by the military make the people more secure?

With the United People’s SONA 2018, the people are creating a powerful movement to end the puppet, fascist and oppressive US-Duterte regime. This is only the beginning, and the movement will not stop until Duterte’s reign of terror is ended and the seeds of lasting, genuine freedom and democracy are planted.

Tama na! Sobra na! Wakasan na ang papet, pasista at pahirap na Rehimeng US-Duterte! [ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! WE ARE FED UP! End the Puppet, Fascist and Oppressive US-Duterte Regime!]

END martial law in Mindanao and all-out war in the countryside!

JUNK the TRAIN Law! END contractualization! Implement the national minimum wage!

FIGHT for land, work, decent housing and democratic rights!

Genuine freedom and democracy, not Cha-cha and dictatorship!

Bay Area People’s SONA

Los Angeles People’s SONA

New York People’s SONA

 

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July 22-23 BAYAN USA Joins MALAYA Movement’s United People’s SONA Actions in the USA

BAYAN USA will be joining the Malaya Movement United People’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) Actions across the U.S. making the call that originated from the Philippines an international response! We call on all people fighting against the violent macho- fascist US-Duterte regime to join us in standing up for human rights, national sovereignty, and defending democracy in the United People’s SONA!

The US-Duterte regime has angered more and more people as he continues his tyranny, violent fascism, and rise towards a full fledged dictatorship!
There are more than 20,000 killings under his Deadly Drug War. Stop the Killings NOW!
More than 400,000 displaced people especially Lumad under Martial Law in Mindanao. END Martial Law in Mindanao NOW! 
Duterte’s push for CHA-CHA or the attempt to change the Philippine Constitution will only extend his Presidential term along with further liberalizing the economy and allowing more foreign ownership. We must FIGHT for a truly Independent Philippines free from U.S. imperialism and China’s economic and military intervention and occupation of Philippine Islands! National Industrialization for a self-sustaining Philippines and jobs for Filipinos!
END CONTRACTUALIZATION! Demand better working conditions, benefits, and wages for all workers!

DERAIL the TRAIN Law that has only increased the taxes on the poor, while giving tax breaks to the top 40% of the richest population and corporations. In effect it has already burdened the majority of people due an increase in the cost of commodities. 

Duterte’s MACHO-FASCISM must go! Duterte is promoting a violent and misogynistic culture that must be dismantled and destroyed. #BabaeAko

The United People’s SONA shows the growing strength of a broad people’s movement against the US-Duterte regime.  The steady decline in Duterte’s popularity also shows that the people are on the side of justice, democracy, and basic human rights. The fate of the Philippines is in the hands of the people to disrupt Duterte’s path of tyranny and fascism, and to build a better society for the benefit of the majority of the population.