BAYAN USA Joins March/Rally on the DNC

News Release
September 4, 2012

Reference: Jackelyn Mariano, Deputy Secretary-General, BAYAN USA, email: depsec@bayanusa.org

BAYAN USA Joins March/Rally on the DNC
Filipino-American Alliance Raises Issue of Obama Administration’s Military and Economic Pivot to the Asia-Pacific Region

Bernadette Ellorin, Chairperson of BAYAN USA, on stage (credit: Brenda Sandburg)

CHARLOTTE, NC–  Amidst thousands gathered in Frazier Park protesting intensified corporate greed days before the scheduled Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, BAYAN USA speaker Bernadette Ellorin spoke before the crowd about US government’s military rebalance on the Asia-Pacific region.

“Earlier this year, the Obama administration announced it would shift its military focus to the Asia-Pacific region,” Ellorin stated. “It has been reported that there are US drone exercises now being conducted in the Southern Philippines, in Mindanao. The Philippines has lived under the thumb of US imperialist aggression since 1898, one of the longest US military occupations in history.”

BAYAN USA endorsed and participated in last weekend’s March on Wall Street South, as the only Filipino-American organization on stage and at the march through downtown Charlotte, dubbed “Wall Street South” as it is home to some of the world’s biggest banks and financial institutions such as the Bank of America headquarters.

Nearby Bank of America Stadium is the chosen site of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, where President Barack Obama is scheduled to deliver his acceptance speech as the 2012 Democratic Party Presidential Nominee this week.

Organizers for the March on Wall Street South addressed urgent bread-and-butter issues in the US such as record unemployment, lack of jobs and wage depression, housing foreclosures, rising cost of food, education, healthcare, and basic commodities in the midst of the increasing federal budget for endless wars of aggression and militarization abroad.

“The people of the Asia-Pacific region do not need more US militarization any more than the American people need an increased federal budget for war. What we all need is basic livelihood, jobs, security, and justice,” Ellorin stated.

Ellorin also stated that the last four years of the Obama administration has proven the economic, social, and moral bankruptcy of the two-party system of the US ruling elite. “Whoever ends up sitting in the White House after these elections, what matters most is we build a viable people’s movement here in the US that can fight for the people’s needs and challenge the system, one that is linked in solidarity with peoples abroad fighting US imperialism in the form of US foreign policy. We have many examples in world history of how organized people power can bring the traditional governments to their knees.”

In addition to addressing the US military rebalance to the region, BAYAN USA is also actively educating and campaigning against the Obama administration’s push for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) a new free-trade agreement larger than NAFTA and designed to enforce a US-dominated free-trade zone in the Asia-Pacific region. For more information, visit www.bayanusa.org. ###

March on Wall Street South (credit: Grant Baldwin for Creative Loafing Charlotte)


Press Release

July 9, 2012

Reference:  Theresa Jaranilla, BAYAN-USA Southern California Regional Coordinator,

On July 2-10, leaders of the Pacific Rim hold 13th round of negotiations for the secret US-led free trade agreement, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA)

“Obama’s push for the TPPA is a sign of desperation of the 1%, they are scared of the working people, they are scared of our solidarity!” proclaimed Ivan Penetrante, chairperson of Anakbayan San Diego, on the first day of the 13th Round of TPPA talks.  “While the TPPA and the oncoming military pivot are geopolitical moves of the US to contain its rival China, the US ultimately needs to exploit the Asia-Pacific region for cheap labor and raw materials to survive the economic crisis.”

On behalf of BAYAN USA,  Anakbayan San Diego joined the July 2 rally and press conference organized by the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council at the Bayfront Hilton Hotel on while the secret negotiations took place inside.  The event was the first of week-long actions that member organizations of BAYAN-USA took part to expose and oppose the TPPA.

A People’s Conference:  A Better World is Possible
The rally also kicked-off a series of roundtable discussions and panels about the effects on the TPPA on the rights of workers, women, intellectual property, food sovereignty and the environment.  On July 5, BAYAN USA joined panelists from the San Diego Maquiladores Worker’s Solidarity Network, the International League of People’s Struggle, and indigenous people’s organizations for a panel on Geopolitics and Empire followed by a discussion on Indigenous People’s Rights.

Country co-coordinator of the International League of People’s Struggle-US (ILPS-US) Kuusela Hilo highlighted the need to stand in solidarity against neoliberal policies such as the TPPA. “Neoliberalism is the tomb that is putting workers, indigenous people, and people around the world in the grave,” said Hilo.  On the indigenous people’s panel, Southern California Coordinator for BAYAN-USA, Theresa Jaranilla, emphasized that “the effects of the TPPA would be distressing for indigenous communities in the Philippines who already experience wide-spread displacement, environmental destruction, increased militarization,  and gross human rights violations as a result of large-scale mining by foreign mining companies.”

A Call to Stop TPPA
On Saturday, July 7, 2012, member organizations of BAYAN USA joined allies and friends donning aprons and banging on pots and pans as they marched through the streets of downtown San Diego to the Bayfront Hilton Hotel calling to stop the TPPA.  Allies, including members of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), marched with the BAYAN USA contingent.  Speakers from around the US condemned the TPPA, stating lessons we should have learned from NAFTA which led to massive migration of US industries for countries with less regulation and cheaper labor.

Speaking on behalf of BAYAN USA, Ivan Penetrante denounced the TPPA and stressed the need for solidarity. Connecting the Obama administration’s public announcement to shift the US military to the Asia-Pacific region and the need to protect its economic interests, Penetrante highlighted the covert counter-insurgency tactics, including politically-motivated killings and abductions under the watch of the US-backed Philippine president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino.  “The Philippines is key to the TPPA and the US military pivot to the Pacific.  The US already has the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and are looking to re-open bases in the Philippines.  Moreover, the US also funds, arms, and creates strategy for the human rights violating Philippine military.  The US will need to enforce the TPPA with military might because the people will fight against it.  People stood up against NAFTA, and they are standing up against the TPPA,” said Penetrante.

BAYAN USA continues to call on greater international solidarity between the American people and people of Asia-Pacific region against all forms of US intervention, including economic intervention through the TPPA.

BAYANUSA is an alliance of 18 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), BAYANUSAserves 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


Press Statement
July 5, 2012
Reference: Bernadette Ellorin, Chairperson, BAYAN USA, email: chair@bayanusa.org
Filipino-American Alliance Rejects Washington’s Call for an “American Pacific Century”
As the 13th round of negotiations for the new secret US-led free trade agreement, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), commences this week in San Diego, California, Filipino-Americans across the US under the banner of BAYAN USA resolutely join the growing peoples’ clamor against the TPPA and amplify our utmost condemnation of the Obama administration’s push to seize the markets of the Asia-Pacific rim via the imperialist economic sabotage scheme known as neoliberalism. We equally condemn the Obama administration’s hyped up geo-political military strategy inherent in any US economic neoliberal offensive– this time with a strong, renewed focus on the Asia-Pacific region.
Secret Negotiations

Initiated by the US back in 2010– the same year US Secretary Hillary Clinton boasted of the pursuit of an “American Pacific Century” during the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Honolulu– the TPPA negotiations are carried out in secret. This is to achieve the US and negotiating parties’ objective of railroading the deal void of any direct intervention or scrutiny from the public, including civil society. At present, nine countries– United States, Malaysia, Peru, Australia, Vietnam, Singapore, Chile, New Zealand, and Brunei– are taking part in the negotiations.
Larger than the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the TPPA aims to destructively pave the way for greater US economic domination of the Pacific Rim. The negotiators have focused on 21 areas in crafting the TPPA’s structural frame of greater liberalization, deregulation, and privatization– business mobility, customs, competition, cooperation, e-commerce, environment, financial services, horizontal issues, government procurement, investment, intellectual property, labor, legal issues, market access, rules of origin, sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, and telecommunication.
In the name of super-profit for the global financial oligarchy, the TPPA sets to economically pulverize and socially devastate the regional peoples of the Pacific Rim. As proven from the NAFTA experience, greater liberalization and deregulation of economies will allow for the massive migration of US industries to countries where they can achieve higher profitability due to cheap labor and raw material outputs. The migration of industries will result in mass layoffs in the US, and at the same time project superficial development in the recipient countries of the Asia-Pacific region, where in reality poverty and social desperation will deepen.
Workers are also bound to suffer greatly from the TPPA’s framework of attacking workers’ job security, wages and benefits, occupational safety, and weaken worker’s rights in general. It will also encourage systemic outmigration of workers as well as promote discrimination against migrant workers and women workers. In addition, the TPPA will wreck havoc on the environment, destroy local agriculture and sow food insecurity for the regional peoples.

Asia-Pacific: Workshop of the World

Aggravated by the global crisis they created through neoliberalism, indebted by the trillions from wasteful failed war efforts in the Middle East, and increasingly frustrated by the mounting class rage mobilizing an overburdened US working class, Washington is seeking to tap into the growing economies of the Asia-Pacific region in order to save its own economy.
For the US economy, the Asia-Pacific region is of strategic importance. It is home to over 60% of the global population, and is the world’s largest market for US exports worth nearly $1 trillion. Two-thirds of all US agricultural exports are sent to this region. JP Morgan Asset Management described the Asia Pacific as the “workshop of the world” because most of the goods used worldwide are produced in the region. In order to survive the economic crisis, Washington must ensure economic hegemony over the Asia-Pacific market.
Standing in its way, however, is the growing economic influence of one of the US economy’s biggest trading partners- China. Though the actual content of the negotiations remain a secret, it is obvious that Washington is using the TPPA to contain China’s emerging economic scope of influence in the region by intentionally excluding China from the negotiating table. As the US seeks to maintain profitable trade relations with China, it also seeks to isolate and contain its greatest competitor for the Asia-Pacific market. Inherent to this economic scheme is imperialist militarization and aggression, hence the US military pivot to the Asia-Pacific.
Neoliberalism Necessitates Structural Reactionary Violence
In tandem with his public declaration of re-balancing the US military to the Asia-Pacific region in January, the Obama administration continues to shift its military force in the form of greater deployment of US military personnel for basing in the region. This includes more US-led multi-lateral and bilateral war games as well as the increase and consolidation of military agreements that blatantly violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the regional countries.
Fanning the flames for a provocation of military aggression, Washington continues to sow an anti-China scare campaign through direct saber-rattling over territorial disputes between China and US allies in the region, such as the disputes over the Spratly Islands and Scarborough Shoal. In its containment campaign, Washington appears to be stepping up a Cold War-era type arms race competition against China with its massive deployment of military arsenal to the region. In the Philippines alone, the Pentagon has stepped up its intrusive war games, deployed at least one US nuclear naval vessel, conducted fatal US drone exercises against civilian populations, and is set to deploy US spy planes.
Washington is also alarmed by the number of national liberation struggles in the region that threaten its imperialist interests. In countries with strong national liberation movements like the Philippines, Washington employs covert counter-insurgency tactics including increased state repression, intelligence-gathering, surveillance, politically-motivated killings and abductions of civilians critical of US foreign policy. These human rights violations are perpetrated by US proxy military forces and are protected by climates of impunity by the Philippine government.
Expose the Horrors of the US Neoliberal Economic Agenda
It is clear that Obama administration’s call for an “American Pacific Century” is a thinly-disguised continuation of the Bush administration’s war economy and  military industrial complex. The economic motivation for this must be exposed to the world in order to defeat it. The strength of people’s movements against the 1% are increasing as a response to global economic crisis. The TPPA will only aggravate the already desperate economy, placing the heavy burden upon the working-class poor and the 99% of the population who will not receive any benefit from this agreement.
BAYAN USA commends and joins all efforts to broaden the support and rally the people to expose and oppose the TPPA and all other US-led free trade agreements and schemes hell-bent on economically saving the global 1% at the expense of the struggling peoples of the world. We call on greater international solidarity between the American people and the peoples of the Asia-Pacific region against the renewed US imperialist economic intervention epitomized by the TPPA, and for the unconditional respect for the sovereignty and right to self-determination of the countries of the Asia-Pacific region.






For Immediate Release
June 7, 2012

Reference: Jackelyn Mariano, Deputy Secretary General, BAYAN-USA, bayandepsec@gmail.com, 347.669.0661

Filipino Americans Decry Aquino and Binay U.S. Visits as Business Deals to Further Trample on Philippine Sovereignty, Increase US Military Presence in Country

BAYAN-USA, a national alliance of progressive Filipino organizations, commenced the month of June by mobilizing the Filipino community to voice their outrage and concern to the Philippine President Benigno “NoyNoy” Aquino III and Vice President Jejomar Binay on their respective visits to the United States.  BAYAN-USA condemns the Aquino administration for pushing policies that have prioritized opening up the Philippine economy to mainly cater to foreign economic and U.S. military interests, as well as the interests of the ruling classes in the Philippines at the expense of the rights and dignity of the majority of poor Filipinos. Binay visited Los Angeles this past June 2nd, while Aquino is slated to meet with US President Obama this Friday, June 8.

Binay declared his visit to the U.S. was to meet with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden to ask for help in defending the rights of trafficked Filipino teachers in Maryland. However, protesters from BAYAN-USA doubt Binay’s interest in workers’ rights due to the very fact that he was staying at the Hilton LA Airport, a boycotted hotel by a hotel workers union, which includes Filipino members. The union called for a boycott to ensure that the workers’ rights to unionize be upheld as well as the fair treatment of workers across the board.

President Aquino, on the other hand, will be meeting Obama at the White House to discuss increasing U.S. military presence in the Philippines.  Aquino may discuss the Philippines signing onto Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), a U.S.-led neoliberal free-trade agreement – often referred to as the NAFTA of Asia – which will further liberalize Philippine markets to deregulate foreign business ownership, clearly violating Philippine sovereignty and self-determination. Many economists have pointed to the TPPA’s design to secure US economic dominance in the Asia-Pacific region, while isolating super rival China’s emerging economic influence.

With every US military shift dictated by a US economic agenda, BAYAN-USA recognizes these meetings as Aquino’s subservience to U.S. economic and military interests, as he allows the increase of U.S. military presence in the Philippines in exchange for the tripling of U.S. military aid to the Philippines.  His visit is in line with the Pentagon’s recent announcement of a  60% strategic shift to the Asia Pacific region set to be completed by 2020. As the Obama administration uses military bullying to dictate and project its economic power in the Asia-Pacific region, it continues to justify its actions by sowing an anti-China scare campaign reminiscent of Cold War-era messaging.

Filipinos in the U.S. and in the Philippines declare, “The Philippines is NOT for sale!” and will conduct protest actions in both countries to condemn the U.S.-Philippine military alliance, which will only perpetuate more human rights violations against the Filipino people and aggravate the threat of war, putting the Philippine nation in direct danger of unwarranted military action.

Join BAYAN-USA in nationally-coordinated protest actions to demand that President Aquino uphold Philippine sovereignty and protect the rights and welfare of the Filipino people!

Friday, June 8, 2:00PM EST
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest
Sidewalks between East & West Executive Avenues
Washington, D.C.
Contact: Jackelyn Mariano, Deputy Secretary General, BAYAN-USA, 347.669.0661

Friday, June 8, 5:30PM PST
Hilton LAX
Los Angeles, California
Contact: Theresa Jaranilla, Southwest Coordinator, BAYAN-USA, 213.373.5154

Sat, June 9 & Sun, June 10, 12pm-5pm PST
Seattle Center, Pagdiriwang Festival commemorating Philippine Independence
Seattle, Washington
Contact: Chel Cendana, Pacific Northwest Coordinator, BAYAN-USA, 360.990.9424