Friday, June 30, 2006

UP Community, colleagues demand immediate release of abducted of UP studes

University Student Council
University of the Philippines – Diliman
Room 204, Vinzons Hall, UP Diliman
9818500 local 4521

30 June 2006


Reference Person:
Juan Paolo Alfonso (paolopraxis at
Chairperson, UP Diliman University Student Council

WHAT: PressCon of UP community demanding immediate release of two abducted UP students

WHEN: June 30, 2006; 10;30am

WHERE: Palma Hall (AS) Steps

UP Community, colleagues demand immediate release of abducted of UP studes
Convict military, Arroyo for damages

The UP Diliman University Student Council (USC) slammed today the recent abduction of two UP students in Bulacan.

Last June 26, Ms. Karen Empeño, Ms. Sherlyn Cadapan and Mr. Manuel Merino were harassed and abducted by armed men in Brgy. San Miguel, Hagonoy, Bulacan.

Sherlyn, who was currently pregnant, is an award-winning triathlete from the College of Human Kinetics (CHK). She was her college's representative to the University Student Council, and was also a community organizer of Anakbayan.

Karen Empeño, meanwhile, is a Sociology student of the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, and is also a member of the League of Filipino Students.

Both went to Central Luzon to research on the farmers' situation in the region

According to community reports, 6 armed men masked with black bonnets forced the three out of the house they were residing. Manuel was bound while Karen and Sherlyn were forcibly brought out.
Up to now, the three are still missing.
"There is no questioning on our demand for their immediate release,' said Juan Paolo Alfonso, UPD USC Chairperson.
"We hold the military and the Arroyo regime responsible for this inhuman and unjust abduction, and liable for any further damage that will happen to them," Alfonso slammed the recent denial of Central Luzon's military chief regarding this incident.
He also recounted the several cases of killings and human rights violations in Central Luzon, especially since this has been a haven of Arroyo's favorite butcher, Major General Jovito Palparan.
"Arroyo's all-out war spares no one in her helpless attempt to quash the opposition. But we will spare no time and effort to make sure that she pays hell."
"We call on every UP student to stand firm in our principles and action's against this regime. It was distressed by the recent moves of oppositions in this university. And it has definitely placed us in its quash list. But we will never be intimidated."

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Philippine - Bolivarian Venezuela Friendship Association invites you

Philippine - Bolivarian Venezuela
Friendship Association
with the UP Department of European Languages

invites you to a forum



Hon. Manuel Iturbe
Charge de Affaires of the
Bolivarian Venezuelan Embassy in the Philippines

JULY 6, 2006 at 8:30-12nn at the
CM Recto Hall (FC Conference Room)

UP Diliman

Photo Exhibit FC Gallery 1

July 3-7, 2006

in solidarity with the

National Day of Venezuela

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Bantay Impeachment 2

The campaign to impeach the fake and fascist president has started anew. Download the full text of the 25-page citizens' complaint from and forward it to as many friends or post it on your blog.

Bantay Impeachment 2 is a citizens' watchdog powered by Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela Women's Party and Bayan.

Monday, June 26, 2006

All-out war on Reds makes death penalty abolition a sham

All-out war on Reds makes death penalty abolition a sham

By Amando Doronila
Last updated 06:53am (Mla time) 06/26/2006

Published on page A1 of the June 26, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

ON THE EVE of her departure yesterday for Europe, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed a law abolishing capital punishment, an act replete with more symbolism to the European liberal and humanist tradition than to the Filipino people.

Her itinerary -- centered on the Vatican and two of the Philippines’ steadfast Western European friends, Italy and Spain -- suggests that the trip represents an important diplomatic initiative to counter growing concern among Western democracies over the authoritarian tendencies of the Arroyo administration.

There is little to indicate that the trip has aggressive ambitions to draw European investment to the Philippines more than what is already under way in ongoing economic and trade expansion programs with the European Union and bilateral programs with Germany, France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and, of course, Italy and Spain.

These programs are already covered by cooperation frameworks that don’t need any further push from presidential visits.

The foremost beneficiary of this trip is the President herself.

Ms Arroyo has always been impressive in her visits. She is articulate and presents well-organized programs. Whether glowing press reports of her visits will help her reverse the slump in her approval rating and popularity among the Filipino people remains problematic. Her previous visits had not lifted her ratings.

Our record of human rights violations has received a heavy battering in Western Europe more than in the United States, which has also called the attention of the Arroyo administration to its increasing resort to arbitrary state powers to deal with the protest movement during the past two years.

Repairing battered image

The President defined the objective of her trip, i.e., to repair the battered image of her government on respect for human rights, when she signed Republic Act No. 9346 abolishing the death penalty.

“When I meet the Holy Father soon in the Vatican, I shall tell him that we have acted in the name of life for a world of peace and harmony,” she said, on signing the measure.

At the same time, she could not escape the contradiction that as she prepared to leave, she had just declared a “total war” to crush the communist movement in two years. And she was haunted by the fact that, since 2001, more than 200 unarmed political militants of the Left had died in extrajudicial executions.

Forked tongue

In trying to reconcile the incompatibility between her mailed-fist policy toward the leftists and her claim that the new law stood to strengthen the culture of life, the President said:

“We have taken a strong hand against the threats [to] the law and the Republic, but at the same time we yield to the high moral imperatives dictated by God to walk away from capital punishment … We shall continue to devote the increasing weight of our resources to the prevention and control of serious crimes, rather than take the lives of those who commit them.”

The President was speaking with a forked tongue, and her statement is certain to be greeted with disbelief and skepticism by the Europeans.

Contradictory policies

And so, while the new law takes out from the state the burden of carrying out legal executions, the “all-out” war on the 37-year-old insurgency unleashes a state policy of violence, leaving security forces an ample latitude to commit extralegal and summary executions, without due process.

The incompatibility of these two contradictory state policies is even more underlined by the fact that the government has been impotent in identifying, bringing charges and putting to trial those responsible for the extralegal executions perpetrated by paramilitary death squads, alleged to be backed by security forces.

The new legislation is one of the few laws passed during the second term of the President with multiparty support in Congress. The European Union and the Vatican applauded the abolition of capital punishment.

Winning Vatican goodwill

The Philippine government came under EU pressure to abolish it after Congress restored the death penalty in 1993 for heinous crimes, such as murder, child rape and kidnapping although the Philippine Constitution had abolished it.

The papal nuncio in Manila, Archbishop Fernando Filoni, said the signing of the law “could be another very important nice step to go on in showing that the culture of life is very alive and important in this country.”

The importance of the Vatican’s goodwill is emphasized by the fact that the President brought with her an unusually large entourage, composed mainly of representatives of Catholic Church groups, and that the main focus of the trip is the audience with Pope Benedict XVI.

Offer of appeasement

Ms Arroyo undertakes this diplomatic offensive against a strong blast of criticism from a number of European-based human rights organizations, among them Amnesty International and Reporters without Frontiers, which have denounced the mounting toll of unpunished killings of political militants and journalists.

Amnesty and the Philippine Commission on Human Rights have held the government responsible for the killings through fostering a “culture of impunity” by not putting a stop to the assassinations.

The President is bringing the new law with her as an offering of appeasement of European opinion that is important for maintaining the democratic credentials of this government.

These credentials have been increasingly questioned in the wake of the government’s declaration of national emergency in February that called in the army and police to raid a media organization and to make summary arrests.

Seeing through Arroyo

But this offering is inadequate. It covers only one aspect of human rights -- that concerning legal execution of convicted criminals.

It glosses over the issue of extralegal executions by anonymous death squads in the course of the intensifying counterinsurgency military campaign.

The gods of European public opinion that Ms Arroyo is seeking to please are not easy to appease.

They can see through the fraud and the hypocrisy of the smoke produced by the incense, while slaughter is taking place in the fields of counterinsurgency operations.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Counter-insurgency in campuses?

Counter-insurgency in campuses? Students flay marine-deployment in UP
by ANAKBAYAN *Friday, Jun. 23, 2006 at 8:35 AM*

"Is this part and parcel of the Arroyo administration's P1 billion counter-insurgency program? Considering the government's malicious red-baiting and baseless accusations against legal and progressive institutions, we fear that even UP students and faculty are now targets of counter-insurgency"

Militant youth group Anakbayan today expressed deep concern over the deployment of a Marine platoon inside the University of the Philippines campus in Diliman.

The youth group received reports from the University of the Philippines-University Student Council in Diliman of 'undue military intervention' in campus security. According to the UP-USC, marine troops are being designated to replace the Special Service Brigade (SSB) in charge of maintaining 'peace and order' inside the campus.

The Marine platoon is now stationed in the DMST headquarters in UP.

"Unlike the arnis-bearing SBB who were relatively unarmed and harmless to students and the whole UP community, active military presence in UP portrays an entirely different scenario and a twisted definition of 'campus security,' said Eleanor de Guzman, Anakbayan national chairperson.

She added, "Students, parents and UP residents are alarmed over this. Military presence inside UP was last experienced during the martial law years. Martial law na ba?"

"Is this part and parcel of the Arroyo administration's P1 billion counter-insurgency program? Considering the government's malicious red-baiting and baseless accusations against legal and progressive institutions, we fear that even UP students and faculty are now targets of counter-insurgency," said de Guzman.

The whole UP community is known for its critical stance against the Arroyo government, especially after the declaration of PP 1017. The UP administration then declared the campus a 'political sanctuary' to those being assailed by the Arroyo government.

"This may set a precarious precedent in other campuses. Schools and universities are being transformed into garrisons."

Students from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) in Sta. Mesa have also complained of army troops seen lurking inside the campus.

Books not bullets

The youth group also said that it is unfortunate that the Arroyo administration is hell-bent on quelling student dissent but continues to ignore students' legitimate qualms on the state of public tertiary education.

"Because of Ms. Arroyo's continuous 'cash spree' on questionable programs for her political survival, the education sector is being forced to eke out on a ridiculously low budget. This drives state colleges and universities to employ income-generating and commercialization schemes at the expense of students," said de Guzman.

Recently, UP students have been protesting against a system-wide imposition of a 100 percent library fee increase (from P400 to P800). The UP College of Medicine has also protested against a whopping tuition fee increase for this academic year.

The youth group demanded that Ms. Arroyo re-channel her P1 B counter-insurgency fund to education and other basic services instead. ###

Tuesday, June 20, 2006



To argue that Charter change (Cha-cha) would make government more responsive to the people�s needs is a blatant lie. Cha-cha actually sets the stage for more attacks on the general well-being of the people in three ways.

By Antonio Tujan Jr.

IBON Features-- It seems that the room for Malaca�ang to maneuver its Charter-change (Cha-cha) campaign is getting narrower by the day. Presidential chief of staff Michael Defensor short of admitted that Malaca�ang has already given up on the con-ass (constituent assembly) route to Cha-cha after he claimed that the Sigaw ng Bayan initiative may overtake moves to convene Congress into a con-ass. Former president Fidel Ramos is also now reportedly supporting the supposed people�s initiative, apparently an effort to drum up and gather support for Sigaw ng Bayan which is hell-bent to submit its petition backed purportedly by 10 million signatures before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) next week.

Malaca�ang�s desperation to ram its version of a people�s initiative in spite of obvious legal questions and widespread public opposition (including from the Church and business) to the ongoing Cha-cha process has intensified after talks between the House of Representatives and the Senate on the issue of con-ass flopped as expected. The latter actually tried to reach a compromise with the proposal of Senator Richard Gordon, who chairs the Senate�s constitutional amendments committee, to deal with economic reforms first. But apparently such offer does not serve the political agenda of President Gloria Arroyo, the patron of pro-Cha-cha House members and main beneficiary of current Cha-cha efforts.

More attacks on the people

Indeed, the obvious truth is that Cha-cha is neither about lofty development goals nor improving the people�s lot. Ask a man on the street and he or she would say that Cha-cha is all about the narrow political agenda of President Arroyo and her party Lakas, which dominates the House. Seven out of 10 Filipinos who are aware of Cha-cha think so based on a nationwide survey conducted by IBON last March.

To argue that Cha-cha would make government more responsive to the people�s needs is a blatant lie. Cha-cha actually sets the stage for more attacks on the general well-being of the people in three ways.

First, it intensifies FDI (foreign direct investment) liberalization that in the long run destroys more jobs than it could create. Second, it takes away even the lip service that the 1987 Constitution gives to the promotion of economic sovereignty and public good and welfare. And third, it perpetrates an illegitimate regime that has long ceased to represent the ideals of Edsa Dos, much less the people�s general interest, as seen from its track record of anti-poor economic policies.

False formula

Yet members of Arroyo�s Consultative Commission on Charter Change (Concom) continue to peddle the deception that Cha-cha means solving the widespread unemployment and chronic poverty in the country. In an article, for instance, Concom member Gonzalo Jurado criticized IBON for saying that the people will not gain anything from Cha-cha. According to Jurado, the IBON statement is incorrect because Cha-cha is actually about creating jobs and reducing poverty.

Jurado�s underlying premise, which is a recurring theme in all past Cha-cha efforts, is that the globalization of the 1987 Constitution through Cha-cha would create favorable economic opportunities for Filipinos and his simplistic formula is that FDI liberalization is equal to national development.

However, such formula does not only lack sophistication but has long been proven false. From 1991 to 2004, 93% of the 2,156 changes in FDI policies worldwide were for various degrees of liberalization. Consequently, the average annual FDI inflow (factoring inflation) to poor countries increased from $71.7 billion in 1980-89 to $379.1 billion in 1990-2004, or a 429% growth in FDI inflow. But between 1990 and 2001, the proportion of people below the international poverty line in poor countries only slightly improved from 27.9% to 23.1% while in Africa, poverty incidence even worsened from 44.6% to 46.4 percent. Meanwhile, global unemployment rate deteriorated from 5.6% in 1993 to 6.2% in 2003 with global employment-to- population ratio (i.e. the share of employed workers with the working age population) declining from 63.3% to 62.5% during the same period.

One of the countries that changed its FDI policies in favor of liberalization was the Philippines through various laws like the Foreign Investment Act of 1991. The liberalization frenzy of the 1990s brought in FDI that is even much larger than the total FDI that flowed in the country in the previous decades, with one estimate showing that two-thirds of accumulated FDI since 1968 came in the second half of the 1990s. From 1995 to 2005, cumulative FDI in the Philippines reached $12.37 billion. During the same period, around 629,813 workers became jobless due to various economic reasons while the number of poor Filipinos (based on official poverty statistics) increased by over 4 million between 1985 and 2000.

Private capital for private profits

What happened? The obvious truth is that at its core, FDI is simply private capital that aims to produce private profits� it has no noble humanitarian goals whatsoever and whatever development gain is only peripheral to profits realized. If left unregulated, it could be very vicious in its quest for profits as it drains host economies of its resources and destroying local industries and productive forces.

FDI per se is not bad� in theory, foreign capital can be a factor in economic growth if the attraction of FDI is designed to meet certain requirements of the economy. But in the Philippines as in most countries, what is happening is its complete reverse because the economy is being designed to meet the specifications of FDI.

As such, FDI promotion has also meant compromising even the most basic human rights of the people. A case in point: To attract P1 of FDI, the Arroyo regime is waiving P5 in potential revenues, even as it only spends 14 centavos for health and P1.50 for education out of every P10 it spends.

Aside from generous fiscal incentives that drain public coffers of resources, workers� rights and welfare are also sacrificed to entice FDI. Wages are kept artificially low� since 2001, the nominal minimum wage in the country has increased by only 16% while the daily cost of living has jumped by 29 percent. The present average minimum wage in the different regions could only fulfill 36% of the cost of living.

Proponents of Cha-cha aim to globalize the constitution not only through FDI liberalization but through systematic abrogation of various State responsibilities and duties and strengthening of private (and foreign) business by creating a policy environment more conducive to privatization and deregulation.

A random review of the Concom proposals reveals that several important provisions of the constitution that clearly identified the role of the State in ensuring that the people live decently by ensuring just wages, gainful employment, accessible social services, genuine agrarian reform etc. have been entirely deleted. For the Concom, it is simply �editing� the �excessive detail� and �motherhood statements� of the charter. But in the context of globalization, it is undoubtedly a deliberate effort to legitimize and expand the ongoing privatization and deregulation of public utilities, schools, hospitals, etc.

Single biggest reason

Behind the hard-sell for Cha-cha as some sort of a wonder drug that would cure the country�s political and economic ills is the glaring reality that the current Cha-cha drive is simply a way out of the Arroyo regime�s political quagmire. Through Cha-cha, Arroyo attempts to weaken the opposition by drawing in various sectors of the elite who stand to gain from Cha-cha as well as consolidate and expand her support from pro-globalization comprador and foreign interests who have been awaiting the Cha-cha to institute the additional neoliberal reforms they are demanding.

The current Cha-cha drive is being pushed by the Arroyo faction to increase the concentration of political and economic power in the hands of a few. This is the single biggest reason why the people should resist all efforts to change the 1987 Constitution now.

The political and economic problems of the country are not the result of a defective constitution but of structural flaws inherent in a social system that is under the control of elite and foreign interests. Cha-cha can only be an instrument for genuine political and economic reforms if it is the result of a changing balance of power in favor of the oppressed and dominated. This means that the process of changing the constitution must be a process directly driven by the people�s struggles. IBON Features

IBON Features is a media service of IBON Foundation, an independent economic policy and research institution. When reprinting this feature, please credit IBON Features and give the byline when applicable.



By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International Coordinating Committee
International League of Peoples' Struggle
June 16, 2006

Let me express first of all the deep gratitude of the International Coordinating Committee and entirety of the International League of Peoples' Struggle to the Canada-based ILPS participating organizations and their conference secretariat and organizing committees for preparing and holding the international conference towards a just and lasting peace against imperialist war and plunder.

We appreciate the objectives of the conference to build on the previous work and resolutions of the two study commissions on ILPS Concern No. 1 (the cause of national liberation, democracy and social liberation) and Concern No. 4 (the cause of a just peace against wars of counter-revolution and aggression), to deepen our understanding of these two concerns and to renew and strengthen our resolve to carry forward
the peoples' struggle.

The two concerns are necessarily linked. A just and lasting peace can be realized only with the people achieving national liberation, democracy and social liberation and defeating the wars of counterrevolution and aggression. Imperialism and reaction are culpable for the oppression and exploitation of the people, for state terrorism and wars. The people can obtain a just and lasting peace only by overcoming imperialism and reaction.

Imperialist Plunder, Crisis, Repression and War of Aggression

The monopoly bourgeoisie maximizes its profits right at the workplace by reducing the wage fund for the workers while increasing capital for the plant, equipment and raw materials. It always seeks to raise the rate of exploitation in order to improve its competitive position vis a vis rivals within the same industry in the same country and on an international scale.

Because the monopoly capitalists in various industries constantly seek to press down the wage level in order to raise their profitability, they ultimately decrease the purchasing power of the workers and reduce the market for their products. The result is a crisis of overproduction relative to the constricted market. Production cutbacks, mass layoffs and bankruptcies of companies ensue. Upon the breakdown of the real economy, the financial crisis takes the form of stockmarket crashes, an epidemic of bad loans, currency devaluation, and so on.

In the era of imperialism, the monopoly bourgeoisie seeks to counter the falling rate of profit and the economic and financial crisis in the metropolis by exploiting the working people in the economic hinterlands of the world, consisting mainly of countries described politically as semicolonies and dependent countries or economically as underdeveloped and less developed. These are the sources of cheap raw materials and labor, markets for surplus goods, fields of investment for surplus capital and spheres of influence.

But the expanded field of exploitation leads to bigger and more bitter economic competition and political contentions among the imperialist powers. Economic and financial crises become more devastating, more frequent and more prolonged, generating repression and fascism, wars of counterrevolution and aggression and global wars among the imperialist powers that try to redivide the world, as in World War I and II.

As a result of inter-imperialist wars, new nation-states and socialist states have arisen. But still the imperialist powers jointly and separately have been able to impose neo-colonial forms of exploitation and domination on most nations of the world. At the same time, the phenomenon of modern revisionism has undermined and paved the way for the restoration of capitalism in socialist states.

Since the 1980s, the US has unleashed the policy of neoliberalism or "free market" globalization, which is a misnomer for the narrow character and selfish interests of monopoly capitalism. The main tool of the policy consists of the manipulation of the interest rates and the supply and flow of money to consumption of durable and nondurable goods and to whichever are the favored sections of production, such as high-tech weapons under Reagan, high-tech consumer products under Clinton and once more high-tech weapons under Bush, Jr.

The policy objective is economic growth in terms of the growth of monopoly capital but certainly not in terms of employment and higher income for the working people. The neoliberal policy is aimed at solving the problem of stagflation by reducing regular workers in favor of part-timers, pressing down the wages of workers, attacking workers' rights and cutting back on social spending but certainly not military spending by government.

The monopoly firms and banks are given all the leeway to build up their resources and capacities through tax exemptions, denationalization of the economies of the underdeveloped countries, liberalization of trade and investments, privatization of public assets and deregulation against the protection of the workers, women, children and the environment.

Under the US-instigated policy of neoliberalism, the world capitalist system has hurtled from one crisis to a deeper and graver one in more than 25 years. The policy has not prevented but has served to accelerate the economic and financial crisis of the following in chronological order: the general run of raw-material exporting countries of the third world, the monopoly bureaucrat capitalism of the Soviet bloc and industrial overproducers like Japan, Germany and such so-called economic tigers as South Korea and Taiwan, the so-called emerging markets in the ex-Soviet bloc countries and ultimately the US.

In the latter half of the 1990s, the US had a "new economy" of overvalued assets, high speculation, high-tech production and constant growth without inflation until the high-tech bubble burst in the year 2000. All along the US was attracting foreign funds to finance its frenzied overconsumption and huge trade deficits. It was the principal beneficiary of the accelerated concentration and centralization of monopoly finance capital under neoliberalism but finally became afflicted with economic and financial crisis.

The Bush regime has sought to revive and sustain the US economy by sticking to the policy of neoliberalism but combining this with military Keynesianism. The occurrence of 9/11 gave the regime the license to whip up war hysteria, to stifle dissent with the USA PATRIOT Act, to make the resources and contracts flow to the military-industrial complex and to unleash wars of aggression against Afghanistan and Iraq with the obvious purpose of seizing major oil sources and supply lines in the Middle East and Central Asia.

The economic formula of Bush has failed. The housing bubble, an additive to the concoction, is in the process of bursting upon the rise of interest rates aimed at attracting more foreign funds. Trade and budgetary deficits are relentlessly widening. The high unemployment rate is camouflaged by taking out of the reckoning those who stop looking for work and by counting in among the employed the part-timers. The Bush regime continues to think it can still use war hysteria and the so-called war on terror to keep its political upperhand in US politics, despite the clear rejection of the US war of aggression in Iraq by the American people.

The US is the No. 1 imperialist power, the No. 1 propagator of terrorism and the No. 1 source of war. Its ongoing atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan, involving the mass murder of more than 200,000 civilians, are so many times bigger and more barbaric than 9/11 which killed less than 3000 civilians. US monopoly capitalism is an extremely aggressive force as it is being driven by the global capitalist crisis to engage in further acts of aggression.

The US has a track record of extreme violence against the people. It killed 1.5 million Filipinos from the time of the Filipino-America War (1899-1902) up to 1913, four million Koreans during the Korean War and six million Vietnamese in the Vietnam War. It has the despicable distinction of atom bombing the civilian populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Together with its British and Dutch allies, it masterminded the massacre of 1.5 million Indonesians through the instrumentality of the Suharto military fascist regime.

The US colludes with and contends with other imperialist powers in exploiting and oppressing the people of the world, in plundering the natural resources and social wealth created by the people, in employing state terrorism directly and through its puppets to repress the people and in unleashing the worst form of terrorism, which is the war of aggression, against the people and recalcitrant states.

The People's Resistance Against Imperialism

As the crisis of the world capitalist system worsens and the imperialist powers engage in war and plunder, the oppressed peoples and nations are compelled and impelled to resist imperialism and all reaction and to fight for their national and social liberation. They have long engaged in various forms of resistance against the impositions of the imperialist powers directly or through such multilateral agencies as the IMF, World Bank and WTO and through the UN Security Council and through military alliances.

In the long run, the peoples engaged in armed revolution, such as those in Iraq, Turkey, Nepal, India, Tamil Eelam, the Philippines, Colombia and elsewhere, are the most potent in struggling for national and social liberation and realizing just peace against counterrevolution and aggression. They set the example for other peoples to follow. They keep alive the great legacy of armed revolutions that made possible national independence and socialism in many countries in the past century.

The current armed revolutionary parties and movements of the people are achieving their own brilliant victories and are strengthening themselves through hard work and struggle among the oppressed and exploited masses. They are driven by the needs and demands of the people and they rely on the people as the inexhaustible source of strength. But they also know how to take advantage of the contradictions among the local reactionaries, within the imperialist countries, between the imperialist powers and recalcitrant states, and among the imperialist powers.

Revolutionary parties of the proletariat have complemented armed struggle as the main form of struggle with legal forms of struggle and with the united front for armed and legal struggles. The armed revolution spreads faster as the revolutionary party not only relies on the toiling masses of workers and peasants it has organized but also reaches out to the masses that are still under the influence of other entities. It becomes so much easier to organize and mobilize the people as they grasp the general line for national liberation and democracy through the rousing slogans of the united front.

At the moment, revolutionary armed struggles are being waged in countries such as the Philippines, Nepal, India, Turkey and Colombia. At the same time, there are wars of national liberation against imperialist aggression and occupation, such as in Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan. The social outcome of the politico-military struggles depends on the objective conditions and subjective factors. Whenever there is fierce struggle against imperialism and its puppets in certain countries, the revolutionary party of the proletariat can take advantage of such struggle to optimize the results of the revolutionary struggle.

Some countries steadfastly oppose US imperialism. These include North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela. The persevering struggle of the people and government for their national independence and their social system is admirable. It extends support to the revolutionary struggles of the people elsewhere. There are other countries in which the governments are not progressive but which are at loggerheads with the US imperialism for whatever reason. It is good for the revolutionary party of the proletariat to study and utilize the contradictions between the two sides and promote the revolutionary initiative and independence of the revolutionary forces and people.

The great revolutions of Russia and China in the 20th century were successful not only because of the correct revolutionary line set forth by the revolutionary party of the proletariat and followed by the organized masses but also because of the favorable objective conditions provided by the inter-imperialist global wars and the continuing contradictions of the imperialist powers. The line can only be correct and successful as it applies effectively on the concrete conditions.

Within the imperialist countries, the broad masses of the people are in discontent over the exploitative, oppressive and bellicose policies of their governments. They have risen up in gigantic mass actions against anti-worker and anti-people policies, against the ever deteriorating conditions of economic and social life, against all forms of discrimination against the immigrants, the people of color, women and youth, against repression of the people in the name of anti-terrorism and against the US-led wars of aggression in Iraq and elsewhere.

The people fighting for national and social liberation, the countries upholding and defending their national independence against imperialist impositions, and the people struggling in the imperialist countries are all linked by common needs, by a common determination to strengthen their solidarity and mutual support and by common aspirations to overcome their common enemy and achieve a durable and just peace.

How the ILPS Can Carry Forward the Peoples' Struggle

Since its founding in May 2001, the ILPS has become a major formation and rallying point of the peoples of the world in their struggle for a new and better world of greater freedom, democracy, social justice, all-round progress and peace. Despite its meager resources, it has stood out as one of the most resolute and most militant formations fighting against imperialism and reaction.

By pursuing the correct political line and relying on its constituent organizations and the broad masses of the people, it has successfully spelled out and espoused the most urgent vital issues and confronted the barefaced enemies of the people as well as the reformists and anarchists of various stripes. The worsening crisis of the world capitalist system and the rapidly rising resistance of the people require the constant expansion and consolidation of the ILPS.

The ILPS has assumed the duty of asserting the justness of the peoples' struggle for national liberation, democracy and social liberation and for a just peace against wars of counterrevolution and aggression, promoting the international solidarity of all the forces and people fighting against imperialist war and plunder and encouraging and supporting all forms of struggle by the people.

The ILPS should undertake educational activities such as research, publications, group studies, seminars, forums and conferences in order to propagate its anti-imperialist and democratic line on the 18 concerns and push the development of the study commissions at the national, regional and international levels. The ILPS coordinating committees at all levels should have a resource base for learning sessions and issuing statements on the urgent issues.

The initial participating organizations of the ILPS in any country should attract and invite other organizations to join the ILPS and form the national chapter of the ILPS as a broad alliance along the anti-imperialist and democratic line. Thereafter, national chapters in the same global region can hold its assembly to take up issues and elect its coordinating committee. The International Coordinating Committee is eager to see the national chapters of the United States and Canada forming the coordinating committee for North America.

At any level, the ILPS should always be ready to initiate campaigns of information, education, mass actions and raising resources in connection with important urgent issues, to mobilize its participating organizations and to engage other organizations, entire communities and individuals in cooperative efforts. The ILPS should also be ready to cooperate with other entities that initiate and undertake activities that are compatible with the character and objectives of the ILPS.

On its own account, the ILPS is determined to pursue all possible and necessary forms of legal struggle to uphold, defend and advance the rights and interests of the people. At the same time, it recognizes that the people in any country have the all-important sovereign right to decide and carry out what they consider as the most effective forms of struggle to empower themselves and get rid of those who oppress and exploit them. #



By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
June 20, 2006

The Arroyo regime is making it appear that it is unleashing all-out war against the revolutionary forces and the people only in recent days. But in fact, Oplan Bantay Laya, aimed at the destruction of the revolutionary movement, has been launched since early 2002. It is under the direction of Gloria M. Arroyo and her Cabinet Oversight Committee on Internal Security.

Oplan Bantay Laya has two aspects: 1. military campaigns of suppression in the barangays in a number of guerrilla fronts of the New People’s Army (NPA) which have resulted in the murder and dislocation of hundreds of thousands of peasants and national minorities and 2. death squad operations which have resulted in the extrajudicial killings of more than 680 unarmed legal activists, including leaders of political parties and mass organizations, human rights workers, pastors and priests, lawyers and journalists.

The main objective of Oplan Bantay is to destroy the NPA in 600 barangays in six regions at every given time. But the maneuver units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (regional mobile units) have only been able to concentrate on less than 300 barangays nationwide at every given time, leaving open tens of thousands of barangays for the New People’s Army (NPA) to operate in.

Since the beginning of Oplan Bantay Laya, the NPA has launched tactical counter-offensives against AFP units in the barangays encircled or occupied by them. Since 2004, it has successfully neutralized the attempt of Bantay Laya to destroy any guerrilla front. Since the middle of September 2005, the NPA has carried out tactical offensives on a nationwide scale, taking full initiative, inflicting lethal blows on so many military, police and paramilitary units and rendering Bantay Laya a total failure.

My source of information is the special issue of Ang Bayan dated March 29, 2006 in . I call the attention of the public to the facts in the section titled “Accumulated Victories and Basis for Advance” in the statement of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) to mark the celebration of the 37th anniversary of the NPA.

Oplan Bantay Laya is already a proven failure. More arms and more money for the AFP and PNP will only mean more human rights violations, more corruption and bigger failure. As it inflicts atrocities on the people, the Arroyo regime unwittingly recruits fighters for the NPA.

By deploying the AFP and the PNP units very thinly and making them vulnerable to NPA offensives, the regime unwittingly becomes the chief transport and supply officer of the NPA. More arms from the Pentagon can only mean more arms for the NPA to seize through ambushes, raids and arrest operations.

Gloria M. Arroyo and her bloodthirsty gangmates are bluffing when they boast that they have all the money and arms with which to destroy the revolutionary movement. The reactionary government is bankrupt and is sinking in local and foreign indebtedness. The people are undergoing terrible suffering from all the unjust impositions of the Arroyo regime and its foreign and local exploitative masters.

The reign of greed and terror outrages the people and incites them to revolt. The people despise every act of the regime to put them down through violence and deception. They smell the stinking corruption of the regime everytime it speaks of more money for economic development. They see the regime as engaged in chicanery and wasting public funds when it talks of “localized peace talks” and seeks to fragment the united and growing revolutionary movement of the Filipino people.

In contrast to the Arroyo regime, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) continues to call for the resumption of formal talks in the peace negotiations with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and for the removal of obstacles in accordance with previous agreements already made between the two sides.

The Arroyo regime has deliberately blocked and concealed from the people the NDFP offers for accelerated peace negotiations and for a concise agreement for an immediate just and lasting peace. These offers have long been made to the GRP through the Norwegian government. The Arroyo regime is obsessed with using the US-instigated anti-communist and anti-terrorist hysteria to pursue its scheme of perpetuating itself in power.###

Message from a PMA cadet re political repression

The following message was posted in NUSP's friendster account.


I am Ronald Gian Carlo Lapitan Cardema of Calamba City Laguna. I am a Cadet in the Philippine Military Academy in Baguio City. I can continue writing this letter by means of harnessing the English Language fluently and proficiently. But I would rather start using our own language now because it is the only language in the world that all of us Filipinos own and we should be proud of it.

Ako po ay di katulad ng karamihan ng kadete dito sa PMA na walang pakialam o pilit na sinasarado ang pananaw sa katotohanan. Ang aking kamalayan sa di pantay na sistema dito sa ating bayan ay bukas at lumalawig pa. Ako po ay nakikiisa sa inyong mga mithiin para sa isang maunlad na Lipunang Pilipino at Tunay na Demokrasya. Ang aking kaalaman sa tunay na Patriotismong Pilipino ay utang ko po sa aking dating paaralang pangkolehiyo, ang Unibersidad ng Pilipinas sa Los Banos, at sa mga pangangaral ng aking tiyuhing si Ka Noel "Noli" Capulong Sr..

Ang akin pong tiyuhin, na deputy regional coordinator ng BAYAN sa ST, ay walang pakundangang pinagbabaril ng mga aso ni GMA sa militar/police. Kahit po walang ebidensya na military/police ang pumatay ay alam ko po at alam po ng aking pinsan na si Noel Capulong Jr (na bestfriend ko rin po at kaklase mula pa high school hanggang college sa UPLB) na ang nagtiktik (surveillance) sa aking/kanyang amain/ama ay dalawang ISAFP/MIG agents mula sa Camp Eldridge sa Los Banos Laguna. Sila sina 2LT Aga Macasaet(Res) PA at si Sgt Tony Flores PA na aking "napag alaman mismo" ay miyembro ng Military Intelligence Group (MIG) ng ISAFP para dito sa 2nd District ng Laguna. Ang "Pilipinong traydor" na si Lt Aga Macasaet ay kaibigan namin ni Noel mula pa high school dahil sya ay aming CAT Commandant.

Siya ay minsan nakakapagtakang nagtanong sa amin ni Noel patungkol kay Tito Noli at kay Kapitan Delfin De Claro ng Brgy Bucal, Calamba Laguna. Sila na parehong Bayan Muna members kung saan si Tito Noli ay patay na ngaun at si Kapitan de Claro ay may tangkana sa buhay ngaun.Si Sgt Tony Flores naman ay ang nagpunta sa bahay at nakausap ni Tito Noli at Noel isang buwan bago siya patayin. Siya ay kunwari nagiinquire sa bahay patungkol sa PMA application ni Noel na dalawang taon nang tapos/lipas. Nakapagtataka. Pag uwi ko sa bahay nung gabing iyon, ako ay masinsin na kinausap ni Tito Noli na siya ay kinakabahan sa mga ganung militar na nag iinquire sa bahay. Tila totoo na pala noon ang premonition ng aking tiyuhin.

Ako po ay pabalik na sa PMA sa makalawa at nabahala sa lumabas na balita patungkol sa gusto ni GMA na "total annihilation" sa mga miyembro ng CPP-NPA-NDF at mga leftist groups. Ang kanyang kagustuhan na iyon ay isang patunay na wala siyang pakialam sa mga Pilipinong dapat pinaglilingkuran niya ng tapat. Buti pa ang mga Amerikano na nang-gahasa ng isang Filipina, di man lamang niya pinagsalitaan ng masama, pinoprotektahan pa nila ng pag-"teteknikal" sa batas natin at tila itinuturing pa ang pang gagahasa na ito bilang isang "friendly fire". Ito ay isa nang Acts of Aggression laban sa ating Lahi at Dignidad. Pero ang mga Kasamang Pilipino, na kababayan nya, na ang nais lamang ay pagbabago sa sistemang bulok ng gobyerno at Lipunan, ay gusto niyang ipapatay at ubusin. Ako ay naniniwala na siya na, ang pinakabaliw at walang hiya sa mga naging pinuno ng baying ito. Walang inintindi kundi pasayahin ang mga dayuhan dito habang naghihirap ang kanyang mga kababayan.

Sa kanyang pagdadagdag ng isang Bilyon sa pondong pampatay ng mga Kasamang Pilipino, siya ay lalong matatalo sa kanyang mga pansariling adhikain sa buhay. Sa kada isang mamamatay na Kasama ay lalong madadagdagan ang samahan. Ang mga aktibistang mag aaral, magsasaka, manggagawa, negosyante, taong simbahan, at propesyunal mula sa kabayanan ay sasama na sa armed struggle at ang mga dating tahimik...#

Arroyo's hardline policy vs Reds will crush her

Arroyo's hardline policy vs Reds will crush her
First posted 06:08am (Mla time) June 19, 2006
By Amando Doronila

THE CALL of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in Isabela last week to crush the 37-year-old communist insurgency in two years, in at least three �critical areas,� cannot simply be reduced to the worn-out clich�, �all-out war against the Left.�

The call represents a major policy initiative of Ms Arroyo for the last three years of her administration with strong ideological overtones.

The Isabela initiative sharpens the administration�s tendency toward strong-arm rule. It is raised for the first time since the Marcos regime�s anticommunism stance as a polarizing issue upon which the Arroyo administration seeks to mobilize broad political support to ensure serving out its term till 2010.

In pursuing this line, the Arroyo administration has taken a big gamble. It is mocked by the history of failure of most Philippine administrations since 1946 to crush the communist movement militarily.

Within a time frame of three years before Ms Arroyo�s term expires, and with limited military and economic resources at its disposal, the initiative faces skepticism over its success and invites criticism that it is undertaking a foolish project without carefully considering its political costs.

The Isabela project was launched even before the successful completion of the first major political initiative of this administration -- the revision of the 1987 Constitution leading to the shift from the presidential system to the parliamentary system. This first policy initiative was visionary and involved fundamental political reforms.

Ms Arroyo ends the first half of her term this year. We shall know before the end of 2006 whether the constitutional reform policy initiative will take off in whatever form. Constitutional change was billed as a historic legacy of a reformist presidency that sadly has lost its aura of electoral legitimacy early in its term by being embroiled in ethical issues associated with making telephone calls to an election official over the poll results.

More than political war

In contrast to the Charter change initiative, the Isabela initiative is punitive and is more than a political war. It engages the Arroyo administration in expanded armed conflict with the communist movement, with an intensity unseen since the Marcos regime�s crackdown on the insurgents in the 1960s and 1970s.

Marcos used the leftist insurgency as a mobilizing issue to build a coalition for an authoritarian order and as an excuse to legitimize the declaration of martial law.

Ms Arroyo declared in Isabela �the fight against the Left remains the glue that binds,� in the first of her meetings of four regional mega-zones to launch developmental projects.

The launch in Isabela has ideological and symbolic significance. It is one of the three critical areas with festering active armed insurgency.

Emphasizing the mailed fist of the policy, Ms Arroyo directed the release of P1 billion to buy attack helicopters and aircraft and earmarked P75 billion for investment and socioeconomic projects in the north Luzon mega-region for the next three years. A day after the Isabela meeting, Major General Jovito Palparan, commander of the 7th Infantry Division in Central Luzon, launched expanded military operations against the New People�s Army, the communist�s military wing.

Signs of policy shift

Several signs preceded the Isabela declaration suggesting that the hardline policy shift was not a spur of the moment. It was preceded by the killing over the past three years of several hundred legal leftists by unidentified death squads.

Last week, defense and security officials announced the government was preparing to file murder charges against Jose Maria Sison, founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines who is based in The Netherlands, for the killing in 2003 and 2004 of some senior party leaders.

Latest military estimates place the NPA membership at 7,000. It peaked at 25,200 members in 1987, a year after President Corazon Aquino was installed following the 1986 �people power� uprising. Membership dropped to a low of 6,025 in l992 but in 1998, the military noted a resurgence, with NPA membership surging to 16,616 fighters.

The significance of Ms Arroyo�s hardline shift on the communist movement is that it has reversed the trend toward the legalization of the party and drawing their members into the parliamentary arena through the party-list representation.

This hardline shift and the salience of the anticommunist campaign call for explanations.

�Last card�

One perspective suggests that Ms Arroyo is playing militarism as a �last card,� to ensure regime survival as she continues to be rocked by the �crisis of legitimacy.�

If this explanation is correct, a related point is that dependence on military factions for support against political challenges in civil society makes her regime more vulnerable to military coups and blackmail.

Anticommunism has never helped any administration since Marcos as a mobilizing issue for broader political support. It did not when the communist takeover threat was high. There is no such dire concern now.

It is, therefore, a false issue for popular coalition building. Historically, the anticommunist scare has made administration hostage to alliance with the military for regime maintenance and survival.

Ms Arroyo is unlikely to have any more success than previous leaders in crushing the communist insurgency. More likely, the anticommunist hardline policy will crush her administration more than it will the insurgency.

Friday, June 16, 2006


16 June 2006


By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant

Several times every year, Philippine reactionary authorities make the propaganda that they are filing charges of rebellion and the common crime of murder against me. But always the allegations are invalid and ineffective because they lack factual and legal basis and because the Philippine authorities have no jurisdiction over my person.

My Philippine lawyers have always competently and successfully fended off these false allegations. Once more they are ready to take the appropriate legal actions to defend me from what are now being publicized as charges of murder to be filed against me in connection with the deaths of Romulo Kintanar and Arturo Tabara in 2003 and 2004.

There is no factual and legal basis for charging me with murder for the deaths of Kintanar and Tabara. The false allegations are politically motivated and meant to deceive the people and divert their attention from the criminal culpabilities of the Arroyo regime for electoral fraud, corruption and gross human rights violations.

Moreover, I am beyond the jurisdiction of the Philippine authorities under Philippine and international law. There is no extradition treaty between the Philippine and Dutch government. I am also protected by the Refugee Convention and Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits the Dutch government from expelling me to anywhere I am in danger of torture and other ill treatment.

By their official statements appearing in and other publications, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People's Army have long admitted responsibility for giving battle to Kintanar and Tabara as armed and dangerous agents of the reactionary government, who committed serious crimes against the revolutionary forces and the people. They consider as acts of the revolution what they have done to the two.

The leadership of the CPP and the national command of the NPA are in the Philippines.

I should not be misrepresented as the omnipotent entity making decisions for the CPP and NPA. I am simply the chief political consultant of the NDFP negotiating panel.

The false accusations against me for rebellion and the common crime of murder are monotonously recurrent and are barefaced lies. They fail to draw away the attention of the people from the culpability of the Arroyo regime for the murder of more than 680 legal activists, the forced disappearance and torture of some hundreds more and the massive military assaults on the working people in the various regions.###

Anti-Lafayette groups, demand DENR Sec. Reyes resignation

June 6, 2006

Anti-Lafayette groups, demand DENR Sec. Reyes resignation

"DENR Sec. Angelo Reyes should stop pretending that he is capable of protecting our environment and managing our natural resources. He is better off as a salesman or even a defender of foreign mining companies than anything else" quips Trixie Concepcion, spokesperson of Defend Patrimony, a broad alliance opposing large-scale mining projects and mining revitalization program of the government.

In their statement, Defend Patrimony casted serious doubts on the competence of DENR. Sec. Angelo Reyes to assume the top environmental post following his decision to allow Lafayette's test run for 30 days, after affirming the strong criticisms lobbied by the Rapurapu Fact Finding Commission.

"It just does not make sense at all! A totally brainless move! After affirming that the Lafayette mining project is grossly disadvantageous to the government, that Lafayette is indeed an irresponsible miner, and that the DENR offices allowed Lafayette in violating our environmental laws, Secretary Reyes is now saying that to correct these flaws we have to allow Lafayette to continue enjoying its privileges of reaping profits from plundering our mineral wealth and give it another chance to improve? Why should the government do that?" said in the statement.

"The DENR decision represents a patently bankrupt political position! Since it was not able to deny the major findings of the Rapu-rapu Fact-Finding Commission, with the strong evidences and hard scientific basis presented therein, it faced a dead-end situation when it had to bare-faced admit that their decision is far from scientific, environmentally sound and socially just, as it should be. They could not debunk nor cover up the responsibility and culpability of Lafayette and hide the fact that the polymetallic mining project in Rapu-rapu does not benefit the government. Yet, the DENR could not follow the recommendation of RFFC to permanently close Lafayette and impose moratorium in Rapu-rapu because President Arroyo and her minion DENR Sec. Angelo Reyes remain subordinated to the interest of foreign transnational mining companies," says Ms. Concepcion.

"The recommendations of the Bastes Commission are crystal clear and are backed with evidences: an end to the operations of Lafayette, a moratorium on mining in Rapu-rapu and a review of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995. How can the DENR Sec. Reyes sideline these recommendations when they resonate with the people's demands," says Ms Sharon Rose Joy Ruiz-Duremdes, General Secretary of National Council of Churches of the Philippines.

In the report, Sec. Reyes said the DENR 'feels' that the best option to take is to allow Lafayette to resume operation subject to certain stringent pre-conditions. It further said that not allowing Lafayette to operate again will lead to the entry of small-scale miners in Rapu-rapu and the cost of decommissioning of mining and its rehabilitation will be shouldered by the Filipino taxpayers.

What do we need such an environmental secretary for? When he is clearly incapable of protecting the environment? Or protecting national patrimony against foreign vested interests," asks Fr. Ino Bagaoisan, spokesperson of Sagip Isla, a people's organization in Rapu-rapu island calling for the closure of Lafayette.

"Lafayette is responsible for the mine spills. It is they who made the open-pit in Rapu-rapu, and it is they who violated our laws, clearly Lafayette should be made to pay the cost of the rehabilitation! Why threaten the people with the specter of shouldering the cost of decommissioning the mines that have been carelessly operated, why can the DENR not make Lafayette do so at no obligation from the people or the government? Secretary Reyes does not merit confirmation for his current position. We are strongly demands for his resignation. The country deserves more competent and strong-willed people to handle the DENR affairs." further added by Fr. Bagaoisan. ###

Scientist group to DENR: Heed the peoples' call, do not be protectors of environmental plunderers! shut down Lafayette!

June 14, 2006

Scientist group to DENR: Heed the peoples' call, do not be protectors of environmental plunderers! shut down Lafayette!

AGHAM asserts there is a strong, scientific basis for the closure of Lafayette's operation in Rapurapu.

In a forum recently sponsored by the DENR for Lafayette to give a technical presentation on the company's AMD technology, dam structure and compliance to the government's recommendations, scientist-reactors clearly pointed out that Lafayette has yet to accomplish all the recommendations of various regulatory bodies with regard to the tailings incident. Serious doubts about the viability and efficiency of Lafayette's technology for AMD prevention and control in Rapu-rapu were also raised by the chemists in the panel. A reactor engineer emphasized the weaknesses of the LPI's dam design such as the inappropriate use of rainfall data for flood prediction and the insufficient freeboard height of the dam. It was also raised why the vertical acceleration due to earthquakes was not considered in the design despite being an important factor in dam stability.

With regards to Lafayette's pronouncement of using "state of the art technology" upon resuming operations in the island, AGHAM argues that it is not primarily the question of having the technology. The more important question is the commitment of the company to utilize the technology despite its cost and effect on profits. The tailings spills did not really involve "state of the art technology". Knowing this, Lafayette can never be trusted in utilizing expensive, "state of the art technology" when it has failed to implement and properly use even cheap and simple technology such as the tailings dam and events pond.

Despite the project's flagship status and the privileges accorded to it by the government, Lafayette has chosen to shortchange the Filipino people by not complying with the environmental safeguards it has agreed to. Furthermore, the falsification of legal documents, underreporting of mined ores and processed metals, and undervaluation of taxes reveal the company's blatant disregard for the government's authority and more importantly, our nation's sovereignty.

The current pronouncement of DENR Secretary Reyes suggest that Lafayette enjoys a preferential treatment from our government. Moreover, Reyes has become the spokesperson for La Fayette. With the Bastes Commission report, and the people's call being ignored by Malacañang officials and the DENR, transnational mining companies can easily come here in the Philippines at the least possible cost—they can plunder our mineral wealth, destroy our environment and livelihood, endanger our people's health and finally get away with it just as easily.

On the other hand, such decision only exposes and highlights the essence of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995: the government gives primary importance to transnational mining companies in expense of genuine national industrialization, the people's welfare and the environment.
*Mr. Saturay is a Geologist/Instructor at the National Institute of Geological Science, University of the Philippines Diliman, and an active member of AGHAM.

Monday, June 12, 2006


Archbishop Angel N. Lagdameo
June 12, 2006

We celebrate today the Philippine Independence Day with gratitude for everything that has been in our history. We honor the heroes big and small, known and unknown, who have worked for our liberation as a nation.

But while we succeeded in breaking the yoke and chain of Spanish, Japanese and American colonizers, are we succeeding in breaking the yoke and chain of fellow Filipinos? Ang masakit na karanasan ng mga Filipino ngayon ay bagamat nakalaya na tayo sa pang-aalipin ng mga banyaga, ay mayroon namang mga kapwa Filipino na umaalipin sa kanilang kapwa Filipino.

Gathered in the atmosphere of prayer, we invite ourselves to pray that we may be delivered from the many “unfreedoms” that we are experiencing.

We have freed ourselves from the punishment of death penalty. But we still have to free ourselves from drug addiction and drug lords, from jueteng addictions and jueteng lords, from the temptation to extort and to bribe, from exploitation of women and children, from the killings of militants, labor leaders and journalists without the benefit of just trial, from torture and maltreatment of every kind, from graft and corruption and subtle dictatorship. Without these the celebration of the Philippine Independence Day in this Year of Social Concerns would be more meaningful.

Civil society is moving on with a growing social consciousness for what is truly good and just for the nation. We recall what Pope Benedict XVI in Deus Caritas Est wrote: “The formation of just structures is not directly the duty of the Church, but belongs to the world of politics, the sphere of the autonomous use of reason.”

What is the duty of the Church? “The Church has an indirect duty (says Benedict XVI), in that she is called to contribute to the purification of reason and to the reawakening of the moral forces.” What is the duty of the civil society? “The direct duty to work for a just ordering of society, on the other hand, is proper to the lay faithful. As citizens of the State, the Pope says, “they are called to take part in the public life in a personal capacity… in the many different economic, social, legislative, administrative and cultural areas…for the common good.”

The CBCP has already expressed in former Pastoral Exhortations (“Building a Civilization of Love” and “Renewing Our Public Life”) its recommendations which I now briefly summarize as follows: 1) that the reform and modernization of our electoral process be continued; 2) that the election of 2007 be pursued in order to offer our country a new breed and brand of leaders; 3) that if charter change is to be pursued, it should be through a Constitutional Convention, whose delegates are elected by the people. We are not against charter-change per se; but we are against charter-change by the present congress converting itself into a Constituent Assembly. From history we learn that dictators are products of and supported by parliamentary forms of government.

Philippine Independence Day is an occasion to promote “a spirituality of citizenship” which fosters a sense of patriotism and of being responsible for our country. “It develops Filipinos into becoming active and constructive participants in social and political life. It enables the laity to take their rightful leadership role in the social transformation of our country” (CBCP Pastoral Exhortation, “Building a Civilization of Love”).


This message of CBCP President Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, Archdiocese of Jaro, will be read by Archbishop Oscar Cruz, Archdiocese of Lingayen and former CBCP head at the Interfaith prayer service, "Panalanging Bayan", 430 pm, Liwasang Bonifacio, 12 June 2006.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Ang Taktika ng Pagpatay


Ang Taktika ng Pagpatay
Inilathala ng Bulatlat (

Ang taktika ng pagpatay
Ay pagpapasulong sa istratehiya
Ng pagkubkob at paglipol
Ng rehimeng hindi na makapaghari
Sa dating paraan

Sampung taon, anila, ang kailangan
Para sugpuin ang subersyon
Mananahimik na ang bansa�t
Patuloy na nakaluklok
Ang reyna sa kapangyarihan

Sa bukid at bundok
Ang pingkian ng armas at armas
Ngayon, maging sa lunsod at bayan
Pinupuntirya ang mamamayang
Tanging mga karapatan ang pananggalang

Ilang daan, ilang libo
Ang dapat patayin
Busalan, ikulong, bugbugin
Para tiyaking tagumpay
Ang kanilang istratehiya�t taktika

Bawat araw ay may dagdag
Sa bilang ng pinapaslang
Tayo�y nagdadalamhati pagkat sila
Ang tagabandila ng paninindigan
Ng mamamayan

May mga bagay
Na kailanma�y hindi kayang unawain
Nilang naghahari
Kung bakit ang bawat paglilibing
Ay martsa ng diwang hindi mapapaslang

Kung bakit, sa harap ng panggigipit
Patuloy ang mamamayan
Sa paggigiit ng kanilang lunggati
Walang makapipigil sa daluyong
Ng lakas nila�t pagkakaisa

Kung bakit hindi panukat ng lakas
Ang bunton ng kanilang pinapatay
O binabawian ng karapatan
Walang lakas ang rehimeng
Ang kaaway ay ang mamamayan

Binibilang natin ang bilang
Ng pinaslang ng rehimen
Sapagkat may dapat singilin
Walang patawad ang kasaysayan
Sa mga salarin

Binibilang din natin
Ang mga araw na itatagal pa ng rehimen
Pagkat ang taktika ng pagpatay
Na akala�y pansagip sa kanilang buhay
Ay kahinaang panghukay ng sariling libingan

Ang pagbuwag sa rehimeng bulok
Ay hindi na bago sa mamamayan
Binibigo nila ang istratehia�t
Taktika ng kaaway
Ng istratehiya�t taktika ng kanilang matwid

At tayo�y pinasisigla ng kasaysayan
Sapagkat ating alam
Sa hinaba-haba ng pakikibaka
Kung sino�ng susuko, sino�ng magwawagi
Sa malao�t madali

Binigkas ng makata nitong 8 Hunyo sa Bahandi, sa Tugma sa Laya II, ang ikalawang bahagi ng isang serye ng mga aktibidad ng Kilometer 64 sa pakikipagtulungan sa Artists for the Removal of Gloria (ARREST Gloria) bilang ambag sa kampanya upang palayain ang tinaguriang �Tagaytay 5� na sina Axel Pinpin, Riel Custodio, Aristedes Sarmiento, Enrico Ybanez at Michael Masayes

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Martyrs of Freedom

100 - years ago on March 5-8
1,000 - Moro (Tausug) men, women, children were massacred by
800 - American soldiers inside the 50-foot crater of the dormant Bud Dahu volcano in Jolo island;
6 - survived to tell the story

The Senate has declared the victims of Bud Dahu massacre "martyrs of freedom" and March 6 of every year Bud Dahu Day.

Here is an account of the bloody event from the UP website:

"Martyrs of Freedom"
100 years after: Peace pilgrimage honors victims of Bud Dahu Massacre

Like a school of fish in a glass bowl, some 1,000 Moro men, women, and children found themselves swimming in their own blood inside the fifty-foot crater of Bud Dahu --a dormant volcanic mountain six kilometers off Jolo, the capital town and show window of Sulu Province in Mindanao.

They were caught unprepared when, from the edges atop the crater, a troop of 800 American soldiers fired down into the bowl. They fought desperately but their kris (a wavy-edge sword), hunting spears, and rifles were simply no match against the Americans' high-caliber artillery. Some of them, including women and children, were mowed down by as many as fifty bullets while others were impaled upon bayonets. Only six survived the four-day assault.

The encounter took place a hundred years ago. March 5-8, 1906. The American government preferred to call it a battle--bloody and violent, yes, but a legitimate armed confrontation between the military forces and a group of lawless fanatics. US President Theodore Roosevelt even commended the American Army for "a most gallant and soldierly feat" in the fight at Mt. Dahu.

Pundits, however, were quick to point out the contrary. American literary luminary and social critic Mark Twain called the encounter a massacre, the US troops uniformed assassins, and the Moros �helpless and weapon-less savages in a hole like rats in a trap.� American historian Vic Hurley noted that, �by no stretch of the imagination could Bud Dahu be termed a �battle.� The Americans troops stormed a high mountain peak crowned by fortifications to kill 1,000 Moros with a loss to themselves of twenty-one killed and seventy-three wounded! The casualty reflects the unequal nature of the battle.�

History tells us now that the victims were a community of Tausugs who fled to Bud Dahu in defiance of the American rule and occupation of Mindanao. Spain ruled the country for 333 years but the Moros never recognized its authority. The Moros isolated themselves in the southern islands of Mindanao. And when the Americans took over, they were no readier to obey the new colonizers than they were the Spaniards.

Today, the Bud Dahu bloodbath continues to inspire the Bangsamoro people in their struggle for self-determination. They invoke the same spirit in resisting the presence of American forces who are presently conducting military exercises in Mindanao through the Visiting Forces Agreement between the Philippine and US governments. They are still trying to make sense of the peace agreement signed by the national government and the Moro National Liberation Front exactly ten years ago
this March.

Indeed, one hundred years after the Bud Dahu massacre, Filipino Muslims, as Moros are called nowadays, are faced with virtually the same issues: resistance to American imperialism, the quest for peace, and the desire for self-determination.

That is why the Mindanao PeaceWeavers, a network of peace advocates, has organized the Bud Dahu Centennial Council (BDCC). Fatmawatti Salappudin, lead convenor of Mindanao PeaceWeavers, said the Council will spearhead yearlong activities to commemorate the Bud Dahu encounter.

A peace pilgrimage, which seeks to honor the Bud Dahu martyrs in the hope of finding closure to that painful chapter of Mindanao�s history, kicked off the celebration. On
March 4-9, 2006, peace pilgrims trekked to Bud Dahu where they witnessed a symbolic ritual of paying tribute to the massacre victims. A peace covenant at the crater of the mountain concluded the tribute. �We installed a marker on the crater with the message that truth and justice shall always prevail,� said Salappudin.

BDCC chair Prof. Samsula Adju said there will be forums in Manila and key cities in Mindanao �to inform and educate the Filipinos on the Bud Dahu massacre.� Meanwhile, lobby groups from all over the world will demand an apology from the US government to the descendants of the massacre victims. Such a gesture, said Adju, will help heal the wounds of the past.

He said they will also lobby for the declaration of March 8 as an official holiday in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Recently, the Senate declared the victims of Bud Dahu massacre �martyrs of freedom� and March 6 of every year Bud Dahu Day.

In the University of the Philippines, the Institute of Islamic Studies (IIS) spearheaded one whole day of activities on March 3 to commemorate the Bud Dahu encounter. The IIS, in partnership with the College of Arts and Letters, Asian Center, Center for Integrative and Development Studies, and the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, held a forum, photo exhibit, mini-lectures, and cultural presentations. (Rod P. Fajardo III)

Throw out Blackwater and other recruiters of mercenaries

Throw out those recruiters of mercenaries

"We may be beggars but we do have a choice. Let's throw out those recruiters."

With Filipinos serving as laborers, nurses and caregivers in all corners of the world, deploying them as mercenaries is probably an idea whose time has come. A US outfit, Blackwater, has set up shop at the Subic Freeport and is now recruiting active and retired soldiers, preferably combat veterans, to help fight America�s war against Iraq.

Actually, Filipinos have a long history of involvement in foreign wars. They served as auxiliaries in Spanish misadventures in neighboring countries. Even before that, they had been drawn into wars among native rulers in what is now the Indonesian archipelago and Malaysian Borneo with which they had kinship ties.

In the more recent past, Filipino soldiers were recruited into the "secret war" waged by the United States in Indochina. This was on top of the not-so-secret role played by Pinoys in providing construction and logistical support to the Americans during the Vietnam War. The recruiters were nominally private corporations, but were in fact CIA fronts.

This time around, thanks to privatization and globalization, the recruitment and deployment of mercenaries has truly become a business, albeit with the encouragement of the US government which finds such arrangements cheaper and more palatable to American voters who have grown angry, as in Vietnam, over burying their sons (and daughters under a now gender-equal US military) for some dubious cause in some place they could not find on the map.

That said, it should be remembered that globalization is not limited to business. The US claims it is fighting a loose global network of terrorist organizations driven by an implacable hatred toward the West.

In our people�s search for jobs across the seas in the absence of local opportunities, we might find ourselves in the forward trenches of that war. And we�re not talking of the Abu Sayyaf and its links to the Southeast Asian terrorist group Jemaah Islamiya alone.

A few of our countrymen have already been kidnapped in Iraq for having been identified as drivers, waiters and laundrymen of what are seen as foreign occupying forces. If we take a more high-profile role as armed security guards at US installations and as shotgun riders on convoys � which appear to be the jobs reserved for Filipino mercenaries � we will be seen as hostiles and be open to attacks both inside and outside Iraq.

We may be beggars but we do have a choice. Let�s throw out those recruiters. But we�re not holding our breath. With jobs so scarce, many will be desperate enough to lay their lives on the line.

Letter from volunteer with young volunteer association

Dear Friends,

We still got litle earthquake everyday, at same time the vulcano Merapi very active, explode hundreds hot cloud everyday. So all of us have to aware nite and day, we have to be ready do something if the disaster come again!

I'm working as volunteer with young volunteer association which is not only at one camp as our base. We send goods what refugees need everyday to the worse areas of the quake,sometimes we work with them aslo, at same time we survey what they need, then we try to get stuff and send them another day!

Now, they the need hardware stuff for breaking down the broken house,they need medicine for eyes deseases becos lot of dust from broken house now, also they mosquito lotion becos lot of mosquito in the tends at nite. They stay in tends now that very hot under the tends at noon and cold at nite!

Also they need dried fishes, instant chilies, and cucumber I think. Becos everyday they only eat instant noodle and rice sometimes. The crisis must be long time, they have to eat something beside instant noodle, maybe can have vegetables also. Some support like vegetables already come, but only for certain camp that they have kitchen for everybody, they organised well, but some not!

Already 3 people suicided, becos of the family died and the house broke, poor, no money to build again by her/himself without family. Government said that they gonna support to build the houses, but some of the refugees don't believe, they remember when the oil price up, government want to subsidy the poor people, in the fact very berocratic and hard to get, even finally the money come but not as much as they said before! Smaller and longer time!

Soon we have to think about children, and depresion people, the crisis must be long, before the new house ready, they need to refresh their psycologic things from the disaster, even now the vulcano come again with another problem!

If u have any support, want join us,to work with us, let me know!

Iwan Wijono
Dukuh MJ I 1549 RT.78 RW.17
Jogjakarta, Indonesia
Tel +628122767607

Center for Trade Union and Human Rights

Dear Friends,

For information, updates and stories about the Filipino workers and the labor sector, please visit our website at Feedbacks are most welcome. You may contact us at (632)721-0241 or email us at ctuhr.manila at gmail dot com. You may also visit us at Rm. 702 Culmat Building, 127 E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue, Brgy. Mariana, Quezon City.


Thursday, June 08, 2006

Close the School of the Americas!

Dear Friend,

The A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition is supporting the work of School of the Americas Watch (SOA Watch) to support a Congressional amendment to close the SOA/WHINSEC. SOA Watch is the organization that has brought this issue to the attention of the country and the world through its mobilizations of thousands of people in Ft. Benning, Georgia. During the course of these actions, many of its members and supporters have made great personal sacrifices, including going to jail for six month periods, to highlight the criminal nature of the SOA and demand its closure. Please read the message below and call Congress today or tomorrow.

A message from SOA Watch:

Tell Congress:
Close the School of the Americas -
Vote YES to cut its funding now!

This week (the week of June 5) Congress will vote on an amendment to close the notorious School of the Americas/WHINSEC. The School of the Americas, funded by our tax dollars and located at Ft. Benning, Georgia, has trained - for more than 60 years - over 60,000 Latin American Soldiers in torture, psychological warfare and war against civilian populations. Many of the tactics of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay began at the SOA to be used on civilians and those working for justice in Latin America. This school has graduated the worst human rights abusers in Latin American History. Rep. McGovern (MA) will introduce an amendment to the Foreign Operations appropriations bill to cut funding for the SOA/ WHINSEC and stand up against the legacy of torture as a part of U.S. Foreign Policy!

We expect a close vote and need as many people as possible flooding the offices of the House of Representatives with calls, e-mails and faxes in support of a YES vote on the amendment every day through Thursday, June 8th. This is it! You can make a difference and it's the people power of our movement that will get this amendment passed!

Call Congress today or tomorrow!

Please take the time to call the DC office of the Representative from your district through the Capitol Hill Switchboard at 202-224-3121 or toll free at 888-355-3588. Ask to speak with the foreign affairs legislative assistant.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Theft of identities can happen, exposes weakness of Nat'l ID

The GMA government is pushing through with the national ID system. The Executive Order defining it asures everyone that the data there will be kept confidential through some cryptographic system

Cases of stolen data have been news in the US and in some European countries. The appended news is about the theft of personal data on US troops.

If theft of identities can happen in the US and European countries, would that not happen here, too?


Personal data on 2.2 million US troops stolen

WASHINGTON - Personal information on about 2.2 million active-duty, National Guard and Reserve troops might have been stolen last month from a government employee's house, officials said on Tuesday in the latest revelation of a widening scandal.
The Department of Veterans Affairs said the information, including names, Social Security numbers and dates of birth, could have been stored in the same stolen electronic equipment that contained similar personal data on 26.5 million US military veterans.
In the wrong hands, such data can be used in credit-card fraud and other crimes.
The government disclosed on May 22 that unidentified burglars on May 3 had broken into the Maryland residence of a Veterans Affairs employee who was not authorized to take the data home, and stole equipment containing the veterans' data.
Later, the government said personal information on about 50,000 active-duty, National Guard and Reserve personnel may have been involved.
But now Veterans Affairs said that as it and the Pentagon compared electronic files, officials discovered that personal information on as many as 1.1 million military members on active duty, 430,000 National Guard troops and 645,000 members of the Reserves may have been included in the data theft.
The Department of Veterans Affairs said it receives records for all military troops because they become eligible to receive certain benefits, such as GI Bill educational assistance and a home-loan guaranty program.
Law enforcement agencies investigating the incident have no indication that the stolen information has been used to commit identity theft, the Department said in a statement. Reuters


June 6, 2006


The latest oil price hike (OPH) implemented by the Big Three and other oil firms over the weekend are unjustified considering that from January to May 2006 alone, petroleum products have been overpriced by 40 centavos per liter. According to independent think-tank IBON, this clearly shows that government measures like tariff reduction on imported petroleum products are not enough to mitigate the impact of frequent OPHs because whatever benefit these measures bring is offset by overpricing.

Petron Corporation, Pilipinas Shell, and Chevron (formerly Caltex) Philippines-- the three biggest oil companies in the country-- together with Total and Unioil raised the pump price of their gasoline products by 50 centavos per liter and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) by 50 centavos per kilogram.

Between January and May, the spot price of Dubai crude jumped from $58.44 to $64.99 per barrel while the value of the peso vis-�-vis the US dollar improved slightly from P52.58 to P52.13. This means that the ideal price hike during the said period should have only been P3.76 per liter but actual adjustments increased the average retail price of petroleum products by P4.16 or an overpricing of 40 centavos per liter.

IBON�s estimates of overpricing use a rule of thumb (i.e. there is a corresponding impact on the pump price for every $1 change in Dubai crude and P1 fluctuation in the foreign exchange rate) that is adjusted monthly depending on the level of the Dubai crude and the foreign exchange rate.

Based on IBON�s monitoring, there have been already 13 rounds of oil price hikes in the first six months of the year including the impact of the 12% value-added tax (VAT) implemented beginning February. The pump price of gasoline products (including the impact of the VAT) has already jumped by P5.13 to P5.27 per liter during the said period while diesel has increased by P5.58 per liter.

However, it is important to note that such overpricing does not yet fully reflect the actual overpricing that oil firms commit, in particular the local units of transnational companies (TNCs) such as the Big Three and Total. Through transfer pricing, these local TNC units are able to pad the production and importation cost and ultimately the pump price of their petroleum products. Oil companies are able to do this because of monopoly control.

Such monopoly control is the main reason why IBON argues that deregulation is wrong. Government should not allow the local units of oil TNCs to determine by themselves the pump price of their products. At the minimum, a system of centralized procurement of imported oil should be implemented instead of deregulation to help curb the practice of overpricing. This should be complemented by other important reforms such as establishing a buffer fund and supply; de-privatizing Petron; and effective state control over the exploration, development, and utilization of petroleum resources. All these policy reforms should pave the way for the eventual and full nationalization of the entire oil industry. (end)


6 June 2006


The GRP Panel is a part of and represents the Arroyo regime. Its statement dated June 1, 2006 blurs this. It claims that it “views with grave concern the mounting cases of killings of the media and progressive groups.”

It further claims to be particularly alarmed at the killing of Sotero Llamas. But it fails to mention that Sotero Llamas was on the wanted list of the Arroyo government, one of those it falsely charged with rebellion. In line with the regime’s evil concoction that the revolutionary movement is killing those who have left the movement, it maliciously states that Sotero Llamas was a “former consultant of the NDFP Panel”. Sotero Llamas was appointed by the NDFP Negotiating Panel as Political Consultant. His appointment was never withdrawn. His brutal assassination is a flagrant violation of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), which guarantees safety and immunity to all those participating in the peace negotiations. Instead, it seems the JASIG is being turned into an arrest list, or worse, a hit list by the regime.

The GRP Panel’s claim of “grave concern” over “the mounting case of killings “ fails to mention that these killings are attributed – by witnesses, survivors of the assassinations, human rights and church organizations, Amnesty International and other international organizations, and parliamentarians from various countries – to killers from or connected with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, paramilitary and death squads of the Arroyo regime.

The NDFP Negotiating Panel has been raising the issue of human rights violations, including extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances, to the GRP and its negotiating panel since 2001. Representative Satur Ocampo of BAYAN MUNA party list raised these issues with Ms. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo herself eight times, according to his testimony before the Citizens Congress for Truth and Accountability presided by former Vice-President Teofisto Guingona. Yet, the political killings and disappearances have not stopped. They have escalated at an alarming rate of four killings and one disappearance every week since January 1, 2006.

Therefore, this lip service of the GRP Panel for the culture of peace, justice and freedom among our people, must be rejected as a further cover-up of the murderous, anti-people and anti-national Arroyo regime which has practically killed the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations by flagrantly violating the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL), the JASIG, and The Hague Joint Declaration.

Luis G. Jalandoni
Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

2nd anniversary of the inauguration of the office of the Joint Secretariat of the Joint Monitoring Committee


by Luis G. Jalandoni
Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel
June 5, 2006

On the 2nd anniversary of the inauguration of the office of the Joint Secretariat of the Joint Monitoring Committee, I extend warmest congratulations to the NDFP-Nominated Section of the Joint Secretariat, to the members of the NDFP Monitoring Committee and the NDFP-Nominated independent observers, Bishop Tomas A. Millamena and Ms. Marie Hilao-Enriquez, and to all those who have helped the JS do its very significant work under the most difficult and risky conditions.

I wish to express our deep appreciation to the Royal Norwegian Government for giving moral and financial support to the JS as the third party facilitator of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations, as well as to Bishop Deogracias Iniguez and Bishop Honesto F. Ongtioco for facilitating the office of the JS.

We hailed the signing and approval of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) as a landmark achievement of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations. We celebrated the inauguration of the JS office as the concrete proof of a mechanism of cooperation between the two Parties in the armed conflict to help the Joint Monitoring Committee to monitor the implementation of the CARHRIHL

It is an impressive achievement of the NDFP-Nominated Section of the JS to have screened and examined all the 693 complaints filed with the GRP-JS. This is made possible by the courage of the victims, the survivors, their families and pertinent organizations in taking the risk to file the complaints.

Since 34 are identical or similar incidents, the 659 complaints pertain to the following:

807 incidents of 2,196 violations involving 44,789 individuals, 2,830 families/households, 7 sitios/ barrios, 26 communities, 17 organizations, 1 factfinding mission team.

To specify further, out of the said complaints, there are 163 complaints of killings involving 265 victims. Of these 163 complaints � 22 are of massacres (involving 102 victims), 139 are summary executions (160 victims), and two are of deaths due to strafing (3 victims). There are also 31 complaints of enforced disappearances involving 45 victims.

These complaints reflect the alarming escalation of extrajudicial killings, frustrated killings and enforced disappearances. KARAPATAN (Alliance for the Advancement of People�s Rights) has documented more than 600 extrajudicial killings, more than 200 frustrated killings and more than 150 enforced disappearances since the Arroyo regime assumed power in 2001. The regime has created a climate of impunity. It even promotes such cowardly killers like General Jovito Palparan who murders unarmed civilians. Motorcycle-riding assassins are on the rampage in a pattern similar to that of 1986 to 1988 when General Eduardo Ermita was Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations of the AFP. The killings follow the Operation Phoenix of the US in its war of aggression against Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s, when Ermita was in Vietnam with John Negroponte, the current US intelligence chief The US Phoenix program aimed to destroy the political infrastructure of the Vietnamese liberation movement. It proved to be an utter failure.

Now, the Arroyo regime's Cabinet Oversight Committee for Internal Security (COC-IS) including General Ermita, National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez, Defense Secretary Avelino Cruz, AFP Chief of Staff Generoso Senga, and PNP Chief Arturo Lomibao, among others, directs the killings and disappearances.

The regime, isolated by its massive electoral fraud, puppetry to the US, and anti-people and anti-national policies, clings to power by subserviently giving full support to the US �war on terror� and seeking to destroy the revolutionary armed movement and the legal democratic movement through its so-called counterinsurgency plan, Bantay Laya. Frustrated in its efforts to stop the growth of the revolutionary armed struggle and the legal democratic movement, the regime desperately resorts to vile fascist attacks against unarmed civilians and the democratic Left.

In the process, the regime has practically killed the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations. It has invalidly suspended the safety and immunity guarantees provided for in the JASIG. It has charged with rebellion those who are involved in the peace negotiations and all those covered by the JASIG. NDFP political consultant, Sotero Llamas, was
assassinated by the regime's motorcycle-riding assassins last week. Rafael Baylosis and Randal Echanis, members of the NDFP Reciprocal Working Committee on
Social and Economic Reforms, are charged with rebellion. Vicente Ladlad, NDFP Political Consultant and Rey Claro Casambre, NDFP Consultant are likewise charged with rebellion. The Arroyo regime has turned the JASIG, a solemn instrument of the GRP-NDFP peace negotiations, into an Order of Battle (OB).

However, the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) will remain a landmark agreement and a high standard for all who seek a just and lasting peace. The outstanding work of the NDFP-Nominated Section of the JS is powerful witness to the dedication, professional capability and courage of the personnel involved and to the courage of the victims, their families
and pertinent organizations that filed the complaints.

The struggle for a just and lasting peace continues. The courageous Filipino people who have the proud tradition of militantly resisting foreign and domestic oppressors and exploiters, and who overthrew the Marcos dictatorship, will surely intensify their struggle against the Arroyo regime and build a just, democratic, peaceful and prosperous Philippines. #

GRP Must Respect the CARHRIHL and All Previously Signed Agreements
By Fidel V. Agcaoili
Co-Chairman, Joint Monitoring Committee
June 5, 2006

The Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) signed in 1998 between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) provides for the creation of the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) and the Joint Secretariat (JS). The JMC is tasked to monitor the implementation of the CARHRIHL while the JS acts as its administrative and technical staff. The JMC and the JS are composed of an equal number of nominees recommended respectively by the GRP and the NDFP. As of 8 May 2006, the JMC through the JS has received 799 complaints of alleged violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. 693 of these complaints are against the forces of the GRP and 106 against the forces of the NDFP. The CARHRIHL stipulates that these complaints shall be investigated jointly by the JMC and separately by the GRP and the NDFP in accordance with their respective processes. The CARHRIHL also stipulates that, in the performance of its tasks, the JMC �shall meet every three months and as often as deemed necessary by the co-chairpersons�. However, since its last meeting on 15 April 2004, the JMC has not met again. The GRP has refused any JMC meetings until the resumption of formal talks which the GRP itself has suspended. Moreover, the implementation of the CARHRIHL is not dependent on the formal talks of the peace negotiations. Thus, the JMC has not conducted any joint investigation of the abovementioned complaints. Meanwhile, the JS continues to receive complaints of alleged violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. It is now entering its 3rd year of operations with the support and assistance of the Royal Norwegian Government (RNG) coursed through the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue (CHD), a Swiss-based organization. Since 2001, human rights violations have escalated with impunity. These have become worse than during the Marcos martial law period, especially in brutality and brazenness. Even the JS itself and its staff have not been spared from threats and attacks, despite the fact that the JS is part of the joint mechanism of the GRP and NDFP in the implementation of the CARHRIHL. Only last week, the head of the NDFP-nominated section, Marissa P. Dumanjug-Palo, was trailed by four helmeted men in two motorcycles. Earlier, another NDFP-nominated member of the JS, Irein M. Cuasay, was threatened with arrest on trumped-up charges of libel. In February and March 2006, attempts were made by the GRP Department of Justice (DOJ) to serve subpoena at the JS offices against 13 persons charged with rebellion. These GRP violations of the CARHRIHL are compounded not only by the escalating violations of human rights, but also by its continuing non-compliance of provisions in the CARHRIHL that call for the repeal of all subsisting repressive laws, decrees and other executive issuances, such as Batas Pambansa 880 (used to justify the policy of calibrated preemptive response), review of GRP jurisprudence on warrantless arrest (Umil vs. Ramos, used to detain Rep. Crispin Beltran), and indemnification of the victims of human rights violations during the time of Marcos out of the monies that were turned over by the Swiss government to the Philippine National Bank in a custodianship agreement. The GRP has not only violated and mocked the CARHRIHL, it has also practically killed the peace negotiations when, among others, it turned the list of persons covered by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) into a list of persons charged with rebellion, and then converting said list into an Order of Battle with the brutal assassination of Sotero Llamas (number 15) on 29 May 2006 and the abduction and disappearance of Philip Limjoco (number 23) on 8 May 2006. Had it been operational to carry out its tasks, the JMC could have been of value to both the GRP and the NDFP. But the Macapagal-Arroyo regime is determined to scuttle the peace negotiations, adopting a militarist solution to the armed conflict after conniving with the US and the European Union in the �terrorist listing� of the CPP/NPA and Prof. Jose Maria Sison in August 2002. The members of the NDFP in the JMC hold the Macapagal-Arroyo regime responsible for the escalating violations of human rights and the scuttling of the peace negotiations.#