Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Defend our legislators

Oppose Political Repression in the Philippines!
Free Crispin Beltran and Joel Virador!

At this juncture in our nation’s history, the Filipino people stand united against the incumbent illegitimate president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s attacks against civil and democratic rights.

By imposing a state of national emergency via the illegal and immoral Proclamation 1017, Arroyo’s corrupt government is trying to buy more time for its beleaguered self.

Failing to convince the public of its innocence of charges of corruption, political repression and electoral fraud, Macapagal-Arroyo is resorting to dictatorial means to curb growing dissent and restiveness not only within the ranks of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), but among the mass population long sickened and disgusted with Arroyo.

Presidential Proclamation 1017 means warrantless arrests, arbitrary takeover of public utilities and industries, intensified military operations especially in the provinces, and a crackdown on the media and the freedom of speech.

The legislators of the progressive party-lists Bayan Muna (People First), Anakpawis (Toiling Masses) and Gabriela Women’s Party are included in the government hit list.

Well-known labor leader turned lawmaker Crispin Beltran was arrested on February 24. A few days later on February 27, Bayan Muna solon Joel Virador was also arrested.

The four other lawmakers Bayan Muna solons Satur Ocampo and Teddy Casino, Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano, and Gabriela Rep. Liza Maza have been put under the custody of the House of Representatives, but they stand to be arrested at any time .

These lawmakers and the political parties they represent are at the forefront of the Filipino people’s relentless campaign against the burgeoning dictatorship under Arroyo.

Crispin Beltran is a labor leader.

Satur Ocampo a well-known human rights advocate.

Rafael Mariano a peasant activist.

Liza Maza a staunch defender of women and children’s rights.

Joel Virador is a vocal critic of US intervention in Philippine affairs.

Teddy Casino has a long history of student activism.

We Filipinos in Hong Kong seek the support of the Hong Kong people, Church and welfare organizations, the media and Hong Kong’s political leaders in denouncing the Macapagal-Arroyo government’s worsening attacks against the Filipino people’s civil, democratic and human rights.

We urge all Filipinos as well as our fellow migrants and the rest of the Hong Kong community to help us in our struggle for genuine freedom and democracy in the Philippines.

Please make your stand be known.

Write to H.E. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo President of the Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace, JP Laurel St., San Miguel Manila, Philippines as well as other media institutions in the Philippines, and inform them of your solidarity with the Filipino people.

Defend the Filipino people’s civil and political rights!

Free all political prisoners of the Arroyo government!

Fight the burgeoning Macapagal-Arroyo dictatorship!

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