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BAKIT AYAW NG KABATAAN SA CHACHA NI ARROYO??

Dec. 11th, 2008 | 02:03 am

BAKIT AYAW NG KABATAAN SA CHARTER CHANGE NI ARROYO?

1. Ang Charter Change ay isang taktika ni Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo para makapanatili sa pwesto lagpas pa sa 2010.

Anupamang dahilan at palusot, hindi maiaalis ang motibong "term extension" sa cha-cha. Batid ng kabataan at ng mamamayan, at maging ng mga kasampakat ni Arroyo, na tanging ang cha-cha ang nalalabing 'ligal' na paraan para matakasan ni Arroyo ang pananagutan sa mamamayan matapos ang termino niya sa 2010. Isinasapilit ni Arroyo, kanyang mga anak sa Kongreso, at kanyang mga kaalyado ang cha-cha dahil tiyak ang samu't saring mga kaso ng mga di-resolbadong anomalya, korapsyon, pandaraya at paglabag sa karapatang tao ang nakaamba nilang harapin malaong wala na sila sa pwesto pagsapit ng 2010.

2. Ang Cha-Cha ay maaaring gamitin para muling ipatupad ang Batas Militar.

- Tatanggalin ang 60-day limit sa pagdeklara ng batas militar at suspension ng writ of habeas corpus.
- Mawawalan ng kapangyarihan ang Kongreso na bawiin ang proklamasyon ng batas militar o suspensyon ng writ of habeas corpus.
- Mawawalan na rin ng kapangyarihan ang Korte Suprema na i-rebyu ang mga batayan ng pagdeklara ng batas militar.
- Palalabnawin ang mga kasalukuyang pamantayan ng pagdeklara ng batas militar ayon sa nakasaad sa Konstitusyon. Magiging mas bulnerable ito sa pagsasamantala ng mga makapangyarihan.
-Buburahin ang ilang mga makabuluhang probisyon sa Konstitusyon hinggil sa karapatang-tao at sa Bill of Rights.

3. Palalalain ng Cha-Cha ang matinding krisis sa ekonomiya at kabuhayan.

- Ibubukas ng cha-cha ang pambansang patrimonya at ekonomiya sa ibayo pang dayuhang pagsasamantala at pag-aari. Ayon sa probisyon sa cha-cha hinggil sa ekonomiya, hindi na 60-40 porsyento ang hatian para sa dayuhang pag-aari sa mga batayang industriya at serbisyo kundi papayagan na hanggang 100 porsyento.
- Papayagan ang mga dayuhang entidad na magmay-ari maging ng mga lupang residensyal, komersyal, at industriyal.
- Papayagan ang mga dayuhang entidad na malayang gamitin at lapastanganin ang mga likas-yaman ng bansa.
- Papayagan din ang mga dayuhang entidad na kontrolin at pagmay-arian ang mga pampublikong utilidad at serbisyon tulad ng tubig, kuryente, at telecommunications.

4. Palalalain ng Charter Change ang kolonyal, korap, at komresyal na katangian ng ating kultura, edukasyon at mass media sa pamamagitan ng pagpayag sa tuwirang dayuhang pag-aari sa kontrol sa mass media, mga eskwelahan at advertising firms.

- Tatanggalin ang probisyong nagtitiyak na prayoridad ng gobyerno ang edukasyon, sining, agham at teknolohiya.
- Tatanggalin ang probisyong kinikilala ng gobyerno ang papel ng kabataan sa pagbubuo ng matatag na bansa
- Tatanggalin ang probisyong nag-aatas sa mga eskwelahan na ituro ang nasyonalismo, pagkilala sa pambansang bayani at karapatang-tao
- Malayang makakapasok ang mga banyagang eskwelahan at papayagan ang 100% dayuhang pagmamay-ari sa mga edukasyunal na institusyon at pamantasan.
- Idadagdag ang salitang 'responsable' sa karapatan sa malayang pamamahayag at malayang asembliya sa Bill of Rights.

5. Papayagan ang higit na dayuhang pakikialam at pananamantala sa pamamagitan ng pagpayag sa mga makaisang-panig na mga tratado

- Bibigyang-daan ang panunumbalik ng mga dayuhang base militar sa bansa.
- Tatanggalin ang mga limitasyon at restriksyon sa pagpasok ng mga tropang dayuhan at kanilang mga pasilidad.
- Mas mapapadali ang pagratipika sa mga makaisang-panig na tratado at internasyunal na mga kasunduang para lamang sa interes ng mga ddayuhan.

- Youth ACT Now!

_____________________________________________________________________________

SUMAMA SA INTER-FAITH PRAYER AND PROTEST RALLY SA DECEMBER 12, BIYERNES SA AYALA, MAKATI CITY, 1:00pm!

IBASURA ANG PAKANANG CHA-CHA NI GLORIA!
PATALSIKIN SI GLORIA!

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Lansagin ang Patuloy na Lumalalang Pasismo ng Estado!!!!

Dec. 1st, 2008 | 09:15 am

RAGE!!! Nov 26, '08 4:46 PM
for everyone
Below is a story published by the Inquirer.. It is about Raymond Manalo, the farmer who, along with his brother, escaped the military camp where UP Students Karen and Sherlyn are/were allegedly also being held.

To those who haven't read it yet, a word of warning: it is quite graphic. Though it is as real as it gets.

As for updates, a fact-finding/ digging mission was conducted by human rights group Karapatan and volunteers in the camp where Karen and Sherlyn were last seen by Raymond Manalo. The dig produced a bone that was taken to the laboratory for tests. We are still awaiting the results.



RAGE
By Patricia Evangelista
Philippine Daily Inquirer
23 November 2008
http://opinion. inquirer. net/inquireropin ion/columns/ view/20081123- 173829/Rage

THIS is the story of one Raymond Manalo, farmer, who disappeared on Feb. 14, 2006 with his older brother from their farm in San Ildefonso, Bulacan. Manalo was neither activist nor rebel when he disappeared. He escaped more than two years later. He says there are many, many more like him.


* * *

They put you in a cage four feet by one foot small, the height of an average man. There are hollow blocks to the side and iron grills in front. You sit with three other men, crouched in a line. There is no other way to fit.


Your brother is in the same cell. The door opens, more of them come in. More of them like you—beaten, bruised, helpless. They are put inside the next cell. This time there are two men and a married couple. The woman has burns all over her body. She was raped, they tell you. She was raped and beaten until she soiled herself. They say she has gone mad. They take her away.


This is where you shit, where you piss, where you wash if you still care. You do not feel the wind; you do not see the sun. Your food comes rarely, and what comes is rotten, leftover pig feed. Three men arrive, from Nueva Ecija. They are tortured. One of them has both arms broken. Bleeding.


Sometimes, when the soldiers are drinking, they take you out of your cage and play with you. The game varies, but it is usually the same. Two by fours, chains, an open gardening hose shoved down your nose. You crawl back to your cage, on your hands and knees. You wake up to screaming, to the sound of grown men begging, and you wonder which one it is this time. Sometimes, one of your cellmates will disappear. Sometimes, they don't come back.


Then they take you away, and there is a doctor, pills, antibiotics, a bed. They tell you they are taking you home to see your parents. You meet the man they call The Butcher, and he tells you to tell your parents not to join the rallies, to stay away from human rights groups, that they would ruin your life and your brother's. He tells you, this small man in shorts, that if you can only prove you're on his side now, he would let you and your brother live. He gives you a box of vitamins, and tells you that they are expensive: P35 per pill.


They put a chain around your waist. The military surround your farm. Your mother opens the front door crying, and hugs you. You tell them what you were told to say. You hand them the money Palparan told you to give. Then you are told you must go.


Always, you keep thinking of escape. You make yourself useful, to make them trust you. You cook. You wash cars.. You clean. You shop. No task is too menial. And one day, while you sweep the floor, you see a young woman, chained to the foot of a bed. Her name is Sherlyn Cadapan, she tells you, Sports Science, University of the Philippines Diliman, the same Sherlyn who disappeared from Hagonoy, Bulacan on June 26, 2006. She says she has been raped.


Later, you meet Karen Empeño, also from UP, and Manuel Merino, the farmer who rushed to save the two girls when they were abducted. Karen and Sherlyn are in charge of washing the soldiers' clothes, you and Manuel and your brother Reynaldo wash the car and carry water and cook.


The five of you are taken from camp to camp. You see the soldiers stealing from villagers. You see them bringing in blindfolded captives. You see them digging graves. You see them burning bodies, pouring gasoline as the fire rose. You see them shoot old men sitting on carabaos and see them push bodies into ravines. And in April 2007, you hear a woman begging, and when you are ordered to fix dinner, you see Sherlyn, lying naked on a chair that had fallen on the floor, both wrists and one tied leg propped up.


You see them hit her with wooden planks, see her electrocuted, beaten, half-drowned. You see them amuse themselves with her body, poke sticks into her vagina, shove a water hose into her nose and mouth. And you see the soldiers wives' watch. You hear the soldiers forcing Sherlyn to admit who it was with plans to "write a letter." You hear her admit, after intense torture, that it was Karen's idea. And you see Karen, dragged out of her cell, tied at the wrists and ankles, stripped of her clothing, then beaten, water-tortured, and burned with cigarettes and raped with pieces of wood. And it is you who are ordered to wash their clothes the next day, and who finds blood in their panties.


And you are there, on the night they take away Manuel Merino, when you hear an old man moaning, a gunshot and the red light of a sudden fire.


* * *

The day Raymond Manalo and his brother Reynaldo escaped was the day he promised himself they would pay, all of them who tortured Karen and Sherlyn, who killed so many, who tortured him and his brother until they begged and pleaded. They were pigs, he says, those men were pigs. If he escaped, they told him, and if they couldn't find him, they would massacre his family. And if they do not answer to the courts here, they will answer to God.

They can still kill him, he says. But even if they do, it is too late. He's told his story.

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Ipaglaban ang Office of the Student Regent!!!

Nov. 13th, 2008 | 06:40 pm

IPAGLABAN ANG OFFICE OF THE STUDENT REGENT!
Katipunan ng Mga Sangguniang Mag-aaral sa UP (KASAMA sa UP)

 

Pinakamainit na pagbati, mga Iskolar ng Bayan! Nagbukas na naman ang bagong semestre at kasabay nito ang panibago na namang hamon sa ating mga Iskolar ng Bayan na harapin ang iba’t-ibang usaping kinakaharap hindi lamang ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas kung hindi pati na rin ng buong sambayanang Pilipino. Sa harap ng kabi-kabilang isyung kinakaharap natin kagaya ng papatinding pang-ekonomiyang krisis, ang walang habas na pagtaas na presyo ng mga bilihin at matinding kahirapang hinaharap ng mamamayan, ang kabiguan ng kasalukuyang rehimeng Arroyo na tugunan ang tungkulin nito sa mamamayang Pilipino at ang pasismong hinaharap nito sa mga mamamayang lumalaban para sa ating mga demokratikong mga karapatan; ngayon, higit kailanman ang panahon upang sama-samang kumilos, mangahas at manindigan!

 

Ang taong ito ang nagmamarka ng pangalawang taon ng pagpapatupad ng pagtataas ng matrikula sa Unibersidad ng Pilipinas: mula sa Php 300 per unit ay naging Php 1000 per unit sa autonomous units at mula sa Php 200 per unit ay naging Php 600 naman para sa mga regional units sa kabila ng matinding pagtutol ng mga estudyante; kasama pa dito ang nakaambang taunang pagtataas ng matrikula ayon sa inflation rate. Habang napakataas ng binabayaran ng mga Iskolar ng Bayan, nanatili namang lugmok ang kalagayan ng iba’t-ibang kolehiyo sa iba’t-ibang yunit ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas; nariyan ang pakikigamit ng mga kapwa nating mga Iskolar ng Bayan sa UP Visayas Cebu College ng mga libro sa aklatan ng ibang unibersidad sa Visayas, ang pagpapalipat ng mga estudyante sa kursong Chemical Engineering sa UP Visayas School of Technology sa UP Diliman at UP Los Banos dahil sa kakulangan ng mga pasilidad at instruktor at ang laganap na kakulangan sa mga pasilidad sa buong UP system: ito ang tunay na kalagayan ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas.

 

Malinaw at kapansin-pansin na ang mga batayang ginamit ng administrasyon, kagaya ng pangako ng pagkakaroon ng maayos na mga pasilidad upang itaas diumano ang kalidad ng edukasyon, upang ipatupad ang pagtataas ng matrikula ay walang saysay. Ang mapanlinlang na Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program (STFAP) ay hindi naman naging sagot upang ampatin ang malakas na tama ng pagtataas ng matrikula sa mga Iskolar ng Bayan, bagkus ay mas lalo lamang nitong siniguro na maraming mga estudyante ang magbabayad ng mas mahal na matrikula. Ang pagtataas ng matrikula ay lalo lamang nagpapahirap sa mga iskolar ng bayan; lalo pa itong naglalayo sa maraming mga kabataang Pilipino sa dekalidad na edukasyon at bumabangga sa prinsipyo ng demokratiko at pinakamalawak na partisipasyong dapat ay tinatanganan ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas. Sa gitna ng pang-ekonomikong krisis na kinakaharap ng ating bansa mas lumalakas at tumitindi pa ang ating panawagang  i-rollback ang tuition.

 

Sa ika-isandaang taon ng UP, inaasahan pa ang papatinding komersyalisayon ng edukasyon sa porma ng pakikipagsabwatan sa mga pribadong korporasyon upang gamitin at pagkakitaan ang mga lupain at ari-arian ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas at pagpapapasan sa mga Iskolar ng Bayan sa responsibilad ng estado na maglaan ng badyet sa edukasyon sa pamamagitan ng pagtataas at pagkakaroon ng sari-saring bayarin kagaya ng mga hindi maipaliwanag na Laboratory fees at iba pang mga bayarin. Ngunit hindi bulag ang mga Iskolar ng Bayan sa mga kaganapang ito. Sa bawat pagtapak sa ating mga karapatan, tanging malakas at nagkakaisang pagkilos lamang ang ating sandigan. 

 

Sa papatindi pang komersyalisayong tinutungo ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas nangangahulugan din ito ng papatindi pang represyong ipatutupad ng administrasyon laban sa mga Iskolar ng Bayan na patuloy na kumikilos at lumalaban para sa ating mga karapatan; ang represyong ito ay bunga ng nagbabanggaang interes ng administrasyon na patuloy pang kumita ng mas malaking halaga mula sa atin at ang matagal nang ipinaglalaban ng mga Iskolar ng Bayan—ang karapatan sa edukasyon. Sari-saring mga mekanismo at polisiya ang ipinatutupad ng administrasyon upang ilayo ang mga Iskolar ng Bayan sa malakas at organisadong pagkilos; nariyan ang pagbabawal sa paglulunsad ng mga kilos protesta sa mga gusali ng unibersidad kagaya ng AS lobby sa UP Diliman, pagtanggal sa karapatan ng mga University Student Council na mahawakan ang programa ng Freshmen Welcome Assembly kagaya ng nangyari sa UP Baguio, harapang pambabastos sa mga institusyong bunga ng sama-samang pagkilos ng mga estudyante kagaya ng pagde-delay sa eleksyon ng mga konseho ng mga mag-aaral sa UP Los Banos at sa pagtatalaga ng editor-in-chief ng UPLB Perspective.

 

Ang mga nabanggit na mekanismo at polisiya ay ilan lamang sa mga konkretong manipestayon ng pagtapak sa mga demokratikong karapatan ng mga Iskolar ng Bayan. Kamakailan lamang, bilang diumano’y regalo para sa ika-isandaang taon ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas, ay ipinasa ang bagong UP Charter. Ang bagong UP Charter na ito ay mas lalo lamang magpapatindi sa komersyalisasyong kasalukuyang tinutungo ng unibersidad at magsisigurado pa ng mas pagpapaliit sa puwang para sa paglaban ng mga Iskolar ng Bayan para sa ating mga demokratikong karapatan. Isa sa mga tampok na probisyon ng bagong UP Charter ay ang pagpapasailalim ng mga batas na gagabay sa pagpili ng kaisa-isang rehente ng mga estudyante (Student Regent) sa isang referendum.

 

Ang rehente ng mga estudyante o ang Student Regent (SR) ay ang kaisa-isang kinatawan ng halos nasa limampung libong estudyante sa buong Unibersidad ng Pilipinas sa loob ng Board of Regents – ang pinakamataas na kapulungang nagtatakda ng mga polisiyang ipatutupad sa unibersidad. Ang rehente ng mga estudyante (SR) ang pangunahing boses ng mga Iskolar ng Bayan pagdating sa mga usaping makaaapekto sa ating mga estudyante. Kung ating babalikan ang makulay at militanteng kasaysayan ng kilusang kabataan at estudyante, ang pagkakaroon natin ng kinatawan sa loob ng Board of Regents ay pinagbuwisan ng pawis, pagod at maging buhay ng mga Iskolar ng Bayan na nauna sa atin; ang pagkakaroon ng rehente ng mga estudyante ay bunga ng tagumpay ng sama-samang pagkilos ng mga Iskolar ng Bayan. Ang pagkakapasok sa UP Charter ng probisyon ukol sa pagpapasailalim sa mga batas na gagabay sa pagpili ng Student Regent sa isang referendum ay HINDI dumaan sa konsultasyon sa mga estudyante; ang pagpapahirap sa proseso upang magkaroon ng Student Regent ay isa na naman sa mga mekanismo ng administrasyon upang buong-buong buwagin ang kahit anong organisadong pagkilos upang tuligsain at labanan ang papatinding komersyalisayon ng edukasyon sa loob ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas.

 

Napakahalaga ng tungkulin ng mga institusyon ng mga estudyante kagaya ng mga konseho ng mga mag-aaral, organisasyon at publikasyon sa loob ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas bilang mga pangunahing nagsusulong at nakikipaglaban para sa mga karapatan ng mga Iskolar ng Bayan at ng sambayanang Pilipino. Ang mga nasabing institusyon ang kinatawan at nagsisilbing boses ng mga Iskolar ng Bayan sa mga kapulungan kung saan itinatakda ang mga polisiyang nakaaapekto sa buong unibersidad. Ang mga institusyon ding ito ang konkretong manipestasyon ng pag-iral ng demokrasya sa loob ng pamantasan; sa bawat usaping kinakaharap ng unibersidad at ng mga mamamayan, ang mga institusyong ito ang nagsisilbing malakas at nagkakaisang tinig ng mga Iskolar ng Bayan.

 

Sa sentenaryo ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas, napakalaking hamon ang kumakaharap sa ating mga Iskolar ng Bayan; sa panahon kung saan papatindi ang komersyalisasyon ng edukasyon at papataas pa ang laban natin para sa ating mga demokratikong karapatan, nanganganib ang institusyon at pangunahing boses ng mga Iskolar ng Bayan sa loob ng Board of Regents. Sa panganganib ng pangunahing institusyon ng mga estudyante sa loob ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas kitang-kita ang pagtagos ng pasismo ng estado maging sa loob ng ating unibersidad; nagiging epektibong kasapakat ng rehimeng Arroyo ang administrasyon ng UP upang patuloy pang abandunahin ang responsibilidad nito sa edukasyon. Ang mapanlinlang at tusong hakbang ng administrasyon upang buong-buong apakan ang karapatan ng mga Iskolar ng Bayan ay hindi lamang natin hahayaang basta na lamang maganap. Sa bawat bigwas ng pasismo na ipamamalas ng sabwatang UP administration at rehimeng Arroyo upang buwagin ang ating hanay ay mas malakas at matinding sama-samang pagkilos ang magiging sagot nating mga Iskolar ng Bayan!

Ipaglaban ang ating mga demokratikong karapatan!

Ipagpatuloy ang laban para sa pag-ro-rollback ng tuition!

Sama-sama nating protektahan ang institusyong ipinaglaban at pinagbuwisan ng buhay ng mga naunang Iskolar ng Bayan!

Ipaglaban ang Opisina ng Rehente ng mga Estudyante na siyang nag-iisa nating tinig sa loob ng Board of Regents!

Wakasan ang kahirapan at labanan ang pasismo ng rehimeng Arroyo!

 

 

KASAMA sa UP Member Councils: UP Baguio University Student Council, UPM University Student Council, UPM College of Arts and Sciences SC, UPD University Student Council, UPD College of Arts and Letters SC, UPD College of Education SC, UPD College of Mass Communication SC, UPD College of Fine Arts SC, UPD School of Library and Information Studies SC, UPD Extension Program in Pampanga SC, UPLB University Student Council, UPLB College of Agriculture SC, UPLB College of Arts and Sciences SC, UPLB College of Development Communication SC, UPLB College of Engineering and Agro-Technology SC, UPLB College of Economy and Management SC, UPLB College of Human Ecology SC, UPLB College of Forestry and Natural Resources SC, UPLB College of Veterinary Medicine SC, UPV University Student Council, UPV Cebu College SC, UPV Tacloban College SC, UPV College of Arts and Sciences SC, UPV School of Technology SC, UP Mindanao University Student Council, UP Mindanao College of Humanities and Social Sciences SC

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salaysay ng pagkadakip at paghihirap sa kamay ng mga militar

Nov. 11th, 2008 | 10:54 am

Elizabeth Principe

HAYAAN muna ninyong pasalamatan ko ang Karapatan-Ilocos at Dinteg sa Baguio City sa suporta nila sa kaso kong rebelyon sa Condon City. Na-dismiss ang kaso ko doon noong ika-22 ng Oktubre 2008. Sa katunayan, nagulat akong nalaman na may kaso ako sa Condon City – Hindi pa nga ako nakatuntong ng Ilocos bago ang arraignment.

Nakagaan sa akin ang dismissal, nabawasan ang apat kong kaso. Natitira pa ang dalawang (2) kaso ng robbery with murder at isa pang rebellion. Binuntunan ako ng kriminal na mga kaso para hindi makapagpiyansa.

 

Nagsimula ang kalbaryo ko noong ika-28 ng Nobyembre, sa pagdukot sa akin ng Intelligence Security Group (ISG) sa ibaba ng Fern Laboratory sa Cubao, Quezon City. Katatapos ko lamang magpa-x-ray at magpa-ECG sa Fern Lab kung saan mura. Mga mula sa mababang uri at saray ang nakasabay ko sa check-up.

Mabuti nga na may kolum ako rito sa PW, para mailinaw na di sa Ali Mall ako dinukot. Galing sa AFP ang balitang nagmo-malling ako nang madukot. Paninira nila sa kilusan na ang mga kasapi nito ay sa mall o sa sabungan nadarakip gayung naghihirap ang mga mamamayang Pilipino.

Sumigaw muna ng “Pulis kami” saka pilit na isinakay ng dalawang matitipunong lalaki sa nakabara-sa-daan na van na may sakay pang mga lalaki. Piniringan, pinosasan ako kaagad; inagaw at kinalkal ang bag ko. Nang tinanong ko bakit ginawa nila iyon sa akin, tape sa bibig ko ang sagot nila. Hindi nila kilala si Miranda, manapa'y nilampaso si Miranda at ang kanyang mga karapatan.

Unang araw pa lamang, walong (8) beses akong ininteroga. Tuluy-tuloy ang piring, posas at pasak sa tainga nang 72 oras.

Sa interogasyon, napako kami sa pangalan pa lamang. Hindi ko inamin ang tunay kong pangalan sa dami ng nakasampang kasong kriminal at mabibigat sa nagngangalang Elizabeth Principe. Baka nga kapag nalaman nila na ako si EP ay tabunan nila ako ng isang trak ng basura o isimento nila sa dram saka ihulog sa dagat o ipasok sa loob ng patumpatong na goma saka sunugin. Di nga ba ang daming missing, pati ang mahal kong asawa, si Leo Velasco.

Modelo ko sa bahagi ng interogasyon ang isang kakilala ko na dalawang taong nakulong ngunit di inamin sa lahat ng interogasyon niya ang tunay niyang pangalan. Ayaw niyang ipaalam na ikalawang beses na niyang pagkadakip iyon. Tumimo sa akin nang husto ang tibay niyang pinanindigan ang pangalang Marcial, hindi ko na tuloy maalala ang tunay niyang pangalan.

Sa unang sandali pa lamang na naisakay ako sa van, alam ko nang nadukot ako at tinanggap ko ang kamatayan. Hindi ako natatakot mamatay, o tumagal at mabulok sa bilangguan, sinabi ko ito sa mga interogador. Sa dami ba naman ng na-missing at na-extra-judicial killing, hindi ko iniisip na maiiba ang aking istorya.

Ang mga tula ni Jose Ma. Sison sa loob ng bilangguan ang nagbigay ng lakas-loob sa akin. “Mas mahirap ang naging kalagayan niya pero nakaya niya, dapat ko ring kayanin ito,” kako. Dagdag pa ang kuwento ng may karanasan sa mga hulihan – na ang hindi natakot sa kamatayan at tortyur ang hindi bumigay sa interogasyon at hindi naipagkanulo ang mga mamamayan. Sa kabilang panig, kapag pinangangalagaan ang buhay, lalo itong nawawala pati ang dignidad.

Sa mga gabi, problema ko kung paano matulog sa kalagayang walang humpay ang tunog ng nakapasok sa aking tainga na MP3. Binabago ko ang posisyon ng pasak para mapahina ang tunog pero agad nalalaman ng aking dalawang 24-oras na guwardiya. Dito ko natantiyang may kamerang nakatutok sa akin. Iniangal ko sa guwardiya na tortyur ang walang tigil na tunog na nagpapasakit sa ulo ko. Mag-enjoy na lang kaya ako sa tunog, kako. Pumuwede rin ng ilang oras.

Minsan napagalit ko ang guwardiya nang binago ko ang puwesto ng earplug, lubha niyang hinigpitan ang piring ko. Maliban dito, hindi ako pisikal na sinaktan. Soft approach at pananakot ang ginamit sa akin ng militar.

Ikinakaila nila sa akin ang totoong oras. Ibinibigay ang gamot na panggabi kahit tanghali pa lamang. Sinabing tatlong araw na akong naroon gayung isang araw pa lamang. Buti na lamang may alaga silang tandang na manok, salamat sa tilaok nito. Nagbilang ako ng pagdaan ng mga eroplano sa bawat araw para maging alerto at aktibo ang isip ko.

Ika-1 ng Disyembre nang inakay ako ng mga guwardiya na maligo. Nagtaka ako dahil dati-rati'y ako ang nagsasabi kung anong oras ako maliligo. Pagkaligo, inalis ang tsinelas ko, ipinalit ang sandals ko. Isinakay ako sa kotseng mabango, may aircon at malambot ang upuan. Isip ko, kung ihuhukay o susunugin na ako, dapat karag-karag na lang na sasakyan at di na ako pinaligo. Wala pang limang minuto, huminto na kami at naghintay nang matagal. Tinantiya ko na ipiprisinta ako sa midya, narinig ko kasi sa radyo ng kotse ang pahayag ng opisyal-militar na nadakip na nila si EP. Pinag-isipan ko na kung ano ang isisigaw ko pagharap sa midya. Taranta naman ang dalawang babaing pulis kung paano nila tatakpan ang maraming pasa sa aking kamay at bibig.

Bakit ako inilitaw? Tantiya ko'y inilabas ako para ma-divert ang isyu at makaalpas ang AFP at PNP sa sangkaterba na puna ng mga mamamayan, lalo ng midya sa magaspang na pagresolba sa naganap sa Manila Peninsula noong Nobyembre 29. At kapwa siraan ang grupo ni Sen. Trillanes-Lim at ang CPP-NPA-NDF sa paratang na nagsabwatan ito sa naganap sa Manila Pen. Sinampal ako ng paratang na kasama raw ako sa nagplano. Ngi! Hindi ko nga alam na naganap iyon at hindi ko pa nakita sa buong buhay ko si Sen. Trillanes at mga kasamahan niya.

Matapos akong iprisinta sa midya, balik piring, posas at pasak sa tainga; at balik pinanggalingan. Waring gustong iparinig sa akin, may nagsabing “5th ID pala ang nakahuli.” Nais akong linlangin ng mga ito, sabi ko sa sarili. Ang isa nama'y ibinulong sa aking ang “Kung makatakas ka o makalaya, ako ang papatay sa iyo.” Sinagot ko siya kaagad ng “Bakit ka nananakot?” Itong panakot na ito ang isang batayan ng pagsasampa ng petisyon para sa writ of amparo, na dinismis naman ng Special 8th Division ng Court of Appeals (hep-hep, fast forward na ito).

Alas-dos ng hapon, inilipat ako sa CIDG. Doon ko nakita ang mahal kong mga anak, mga miyembro ng Karapatan, Desaparecidos, EMJP, mga galing ng Cagayan Valley, at mga biktima at kamag-anak ng mga biktima ng karahasang militar. Pinagpiyano ako, saka ibinalik ang handbag ko na kinumpiska ng mga dumukot sa akin. Nawalan ng P12,000 ang pera ko, nagdagdagan ng planted na Ang Bayan. Ipina-nota ko sa CIDG ang nawala at planted.

Ipina-medical ako – doon nanota ng doktor ang marami kong pasa sa dalawang kamay at bisig. Sa daan pa-medical, na-interbyu ako ng ABS-CBN pero hindi naman lumabas sa TV. Maraming pa noong kaso na nai-interbyu ako at mga anak ko noong may hearing sa Court of Appeals pero di lumalabas sa TV.

Sunod, inilagak na ako sa Custodial Center kung saan ako ikinulong. Kinuha lahat ng pulis doon ang mga gamot ko, baka ko raw inumin nang sabay-sabay. Hihingi raw ako sa kanila sa bawat pag-inom ko.

Isang linggo akong padlock, di puwedeng lumabas ng selda. Abogado lamang ang puwedeng bumisita, di puwede kahit kamag-anak. Kahit nga si Cong. Satur Ocampo ay di pinayagang makadalaw sa akin (Dami pa naman niyang dalang pagkain).

Binilinan ng mga opisyal ng Custodial na huwag makipag-usap sa akin ang ibang detainee, baka raw bigla ko lang karatehin sila at pilipilitin ang leeg. Isang buwan na wala akong kasama sa selda na ayon sa kuwento ay may multo; itinoka ako sa higaan ng taong nagpakamatay. Makaraan ang ilang panahon, tinanong ako ng ibang detainee kung bakit hindi ako natatakot sa mga multo at walang nagpakitang multo sa akin. Sagot ko'y “Mga kakosa ko kasi ang mga pinatay dito.”

Nagtataka ang mga naunang detainee bakit hindi ako umiyak noong mga unang araw ko at waring magaan pa ang dating ko sa kanila. Sabi ko'y “Ang isang paa ko'y nasa hukay nitong nakaraang ilang araw, pasalamat ako't inalis doon at di naisama sa bilang ng mga nangawala at napatay.”

Nakatulong sa aking ang pag-iisip ng positibo para di lubhang ma-depress sa bagong mundo ko. Mula sa ekta-ektaryang luntian ang pinagpipiyestahan ng mga mata ko, naging 2-by-3 metro kuwadrado na lamang ang pinagtitiyagaan ng mata ko. Pero ang isip ko'y milya-milya, daan-daang milya, libu-libo, milyun-milyong milya sa ilang daang taon ang inilalarawan. Ang isip ko't diwa ay di naikulong.

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still part of the US-Arroyo program to silence militant activists

Nov. 5th, 2008 | 11:59 pm

Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights

KARAPATAN - SOUTHERN TAGALOG

Press Release

November 3, 2008                                                                                                  

Reference: Glen Malabanan, Deputy Secetary General, KARAPATAN-ST, 

Peasant Leader in Cavite Nabbed as crackdown against militant activists in Southern Tagalog continue

On November 3, 2008, at 7:30 in the evening, Katipunan ng mga Magbubukid sa Kabite (Kamagsasaka-Ka) spokesperson Rogelio Galit was taken by around 15 armed men wearing civilian clothes, from his house in Brgy. Kaong, Silang Cavite.  Initial reports say Galit will be brought to Camp Vicente Lim in Calamba City. Galit is suffering from diabetis and is already bedridden.

Galit is among 72 others who were accused of committing multiple murder and multiple frustrated murder in an NPA ambush in Puerto Galera, Mindoro Oriental last March 3, 2006. The charges were filed at the Calapan City Regional Trial Court under Judge Tomas Leynes. Around 30 of the 72 accused are activist leaders and members of militant people’s organizations.

Glen Malabanan, Deputy Secretary General of the Human Rights group Karapatan-Southern Tagalog said the charges were fabricated and is still part of the Arroyo administrations on going campaign to silence militant activists.

“This tactic of wholesale filing of criminal charges against militant activists is a systematic effort of the Arroyo regime’s internal security agencies. It is still under Arroyo’s counter-insurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya which aims to neutralize groups it considers leftist or communist,” Malabanan said.

Among those facing criminal charges are prominent regional and provincial leaders in Southern Tagalog including:

·       Arman Albarillo, Sec. Gen, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Southern Tagalog (Bayan-ST);   a signatory in the 2008 impeachment complaint against President Arroyo;

·       Bayani Cambronero, 8th Partylist nominee and Southern Tagalog  Regional Coordinator, Bayan Muna;

·       Romeo Legaspi, Chairperson, Pagkakaisa ng mga Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan-Kilusang Mayo Uno (PAMANTIK-KMU)

·       Rolando Mingo, President, Southern Tagalog Region Transport Sector Organization, (STARTER); Vice President, Pinagkaisang Lakas ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON)

·       Orly Marcellana, Secretary General, Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (Kasama-TK); Chairperson, Bayan-ST

·       Doris Cuario, Secretary General, Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights – Southern Tagalog (KARAPATAN)

·       Helen Asdolo, Secretary General, National Alliance of Women’s Organizations in the Philippines (GABRIELA) - Southern Tagalog; 5th partylist nominee, Gabriela Women’s Party

·       Atty. Remigio Saladero, Legal Counsel, KMU; Founding Member, National Union of People’s Lawyers; Labor Lawyer, Pro-Labor Legal Assistance Center (PLACE); Regular columnist,  Pinoy Weekly

Three of the accused are already imprisoned in Calapan City. The illegal arrests bagan with Atty. Remigio Saladero last October 23 in Antipolo City, followed by Nestor San Jose on October 24 in Teresa, Rizal, and Crispin Zapanta on October 27 also in Antipolo City.

San Jose is a transport leader and Anakpawis Partylist coordinator while Zapanta is a member of Bayan Muna.

Malaban said the charges were meant to paralyze these activists by trying to detain them or force them into hiding.

Prior to the arrest of Atty. Saladero, another complaint against Southern Tagalog activists, was also filed in the Batangas Provincial Prosecutor’s Office by Marlo Timbreza in behalf of Globe telecoms, regarding the burning and bombing of a Globe cellsite in Lemery Batangas last August 2, 2008. Timbreza alleged that 27 persons, mostly activists, committed arson, destruction of private property and conspiracy to commit rebellion.

17 of the 27 facing the complaint in Batangas are also in the Mindoro case, including Atty. Saladero, San Jose, Galit, Cambronero, Mingo, among others.

Malabanan said that it is not unlikely that the Arroyo regime is again using Southern Tagalog as a laboratory for this new wave of political repression as it did before launching on a nationwide scale, the policy of extrajudicial killings. From 2001 to March 2008, Karapatan-ST has documented 167 victims of extrajudicial killings and 31 of enforced disappearance in the region.

On November 5, groups led by Bayan-ST and Karapatan-ST are set to stage a rally at the Department of Justice in Manila.#

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SURFACE JAMES BALAO!!! (repost from cegpcordi)

Oct. 31st, 2008 | 01:18 pm

As campus journalists, we are concerned with the implications of the disappearance of James Balao who is a former editor-in-chief of University of the Philippines Baguio's Outcrop. We strongly condemn this disappearance.

Balao, research and education staff of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance disappeared last September 17 on his way to his family's residence in La Trinidad. Before disappearing, he reported seeing vans following him daily from his residence to his chores. This is the first case of disappearance here in Baguio since 2001.

This is alarming for us campus journalists, especially in a time when human rights violations escalate along with press freedom violations. This calls for vigilance among us and our friends from the mainstream media. We are concerned for his life and liberty, as well as other victims of the culture of impunity we are living in.

We appeal to local authorities to help in the search for James Balao, and we hold Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo accountable for the culture of impunity that condones enforced disappearances and other human rights violations.

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LET'S ALL SAY NO TO MODERN DAY SLAVERY!!!

Oct. 19th, 2008 | 01:11 pm

A Critical View of the

Global Forum on Migration and Development


GFMD stands for Global Forum on Migration and Development. It is “an informal multilateral and state-led multistakeholder process “that is open to 192 member states of the United Nations “to identify practical and feasible ways to strengthen the mutually beneficial relationship between migration and development.”1

The GFMD comes at a time when the number of migrants has grown to about 205 million migrants around the world. Tens of millions are undocumented while about 20 million are refugees. Altogether they remit US$ 2.26 trillion, an amount which is far more than the combined “development assistance” given by developed countries to underdeveloped ones.

The GFMD purportedly professes to embrace “development”, a concept which may be remote to the realities of peoples of Third World countries who are impoverished. This universal concept defined by the United Nations supposedly pertains to human development, which is about creating an environment in which “people can develop their full potential and lead productive and creative lives in accord with their needs and interests.”2 It is therefore fundamental for human development to build human capabilities – to lead long and healthy lives, to be knowledgeable, to have access to have a decent standard of living, and to be able to participate in the life of a community. As such, human development shares the vision of fundamental human rights – the human right to work, the right to adequate standard of living including food, clothing, and housing, the right to physical and mental health, the right to security, the right to healthy environment, and the right to education.3

Over the years, the concept of human development evolved. On December 4, 1986, the General Assembly of the United Nations issued a Declaration on the Right to Development saying that “the right to development is an inalienable human right by virtue of which every human being and all peoples are entitled to, contribute to, and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development, in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realized.”4

However, the path to human development changed, depending on whose perspective and interest holds such concept. As the disparity between the rich and poor countries widened, the dominant concept defined by First World countries prevailed. This concept holds the view that the path to development meant capital infusion combined with the provision and teaching of technical skills.

But as the process of “globalization” continued, this changed to embracing the principles of trade liberalization, the opening up of domestic industry investment to “free market” forces, privatization and deregulation. These principles gained prominence over the years and led to the “Washington consensus” in 1989, the formation of WTO in 1995, and the establishment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the United Nations in 2000.  These initiatives were designed purportedly to address global problems such as poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental devastation and discrimination against women.

It was along this line that subsequent post-Washington or even post-post Washington concepts and other initiatives followed suit:

1)the Monterrey Consensus was adopted in 2002 (by over 50 Heads of State and 200 Ministers of Finance, Foreign Affairs, Development and Trade) as a result of a UN-organized  International Conference on Financing for Development.  Pushed by WTO and IMF-WB, commitments for more development aid to developing countries were mobilized, the concept of international trade as an engine for development was adopted, and governments, WTO and IFIs agreed to enhance the coherence and consistency of the international monetary, financial and trading systems in support of development.

2)the Paris Declaration on aid effectiveness was adopted in 2005 (by development officials and ministers from 91 countries and 26 donor organizations) for more aid commitments, and reforms in the delivery and management of aid . These commitments, however, meant more conditionalities and tied aid for developing countries to buy products only from donor countries.

3)Various High Level Fora (HLF) on different issues were organized by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) with the strong presence and influence of IMF and WB. One result of this HLF is to hold a permanent Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) in September 2006 in Washington..

What is common in all these policy developments is that the framework of development which serves the interests and strategies of neoliberal globalization has prevailed among governments, inter-government bodies (UN and OECD) and IFIs.  In all these initiatives, the OECD plays the role of policy think-tank and coordinates both domestic and international policy-making processes. In collusion with the WB, it uses governments and the UN to create legitimated consensus bodies such as the GFMD to propagate and propel neoliberal policies and strategies.

It is no wonder then that the developments in international migration have caught the attention of governments and capitalists alike. This global interest is concretely seen as migration is increasingly on the agenda of the UN, ILO, IMF, WB, OECD and WTO. Various initiatives were taken by these global inter-government organizations and international financial institutions (IFIs), namely: WTO’s inclusion of Mode 4 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Services (GATS); the formation of the Global Commission on International Migration (GCIM) by the UN in 2003, and the holding of High Level Dialogues with governments and other “stakeholders” by the OECD.

One such product of this High Level Dialogue in September 2006, pursued specially after the collapse of WTO talks on the so-called Doha Development Agenda, was the creation of a permanent Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD), which held its inaugural session in Brussels, Belgium in July 2007.

The GFMD thus arose not from the genuine interest of First World countries to realize development of Third World countries and address migration issues and problems in countries of origin and destination. It arose in the midst of the worsening world economic crisis where far more advanced First World countries are fighting their way out of this crisis while still retaining their economic and political interests, control and power, while poverty, unemployment and underdevelopment continue to aggravate the lives of peoples of Third World countries.

It also came at a time when pro-globalization, debt-ridden and corrupt regimes in Third World countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and others are saying that migration is “international sharing of human resources” and that the “remittances of migrants help prop up (their) economies.”

The GFMD and Its Framework

The first GFMD held in Brussels, Belgium in 2007 discussed the following topics and conclusions:
Human Capital Development and Labor Mobility: Maximizing Opportunities and Minimizing Risks
Remittances and other Diaspora Resources: Increasing their Volume and Development Value
Enhancing Institutional and Policy Coherence, and Promoting Partnerships

Conclusions of the First GFMD session held in Brussels, Belgium are summed up in the following points:

1)that migration is an opportunity, not a threat; as such, migration policies can contribute to development and to achieving the Millennium Development Goals; that development policies can harness best the potential benefits of migration.
2)that temporary labor migration can be a flexible way of meeting labor surplus and shortage across countries.
3)that more circular forms of migration and sustainable return would enable temporary labor movements to be better linked to the skills and development needs of the source country, and to be factored into the skills requirements of the destination country. Also, the return or circulation of skills and other assets of more permanent migrants can reinforce development efforts in origin countries.
4)that remittances to developing countries are one of the largest sources of external finance for developing countries, and can represent a large share of GDP for some of them. The World Bank estimates that recorded remittances to developing countries (i.e., excluding informal flows) reached $206 billion in 2006, almost two-thirds of foreign direct investment ($325 billion), and almost twice as large as official aid ($104 billion) received by these countries. Remittances are also considered to be more stable and evenly spread than other financial flows such as ODA or FDI, and are also considered to be countercyclical.
5)that remittances cannot be appropriated by governments, but their positive impact on development can be increased through options, incentives and tools designed and implemented by governments in partnership with other relevant actors.
6)that reducing remittance costs can create incentives for migrants to use formal remittance channels. Increased formalization of remittance transfers also enables better policy planning for development and for responding to the possible negative impact of these flows.

The next GFMD session will be held in Manila, Philippines on October 29-30, 2008.
The Philippine experience in developing the export of labor as an industry is seen by many governments as a model for the world to see. Moreover, the Arroyo government sees the GFMD as “the country’s opportunity” to market Filipinos workers overseas since “it can no longer stop Filipinos from leaving for better jobs abroad.” Albeit this lame excuse, the fact remains that the government cannot create decent jobs and it exploits the diaspora of Filipinos to earn the much needed foreign exchange.

As with the first GFMD session in Belgium, consultations with civil society organizations (CSO) will again be held, this time on October 27-28, 2008. The CSO consultation is being organized by the Ayala Foundation.

The theme of the next GFMD is “Protecting and Empowering Migrants for Development,” which is meant to call on the host and sending countries to “share responsibility” to ensure the developmental effects of migration. The roundtable discussions will focus on the following:

Migration, Development, and Human Rights
Secure, Legal Migration can Achieve Stronger Developmental Impact
Policy and Institutional Coherence and Partnerships

It is in this context that the forthcoming GFMD session in Manila, Philippines is being pursued.

Critical Position on the GFMD

The GFMD is a device to sell neoliberal anti-poverty and financing strategy. It thrives on the poverty of Third World countries, directs them to institutionalize migration policies as a mechanism for development and development cooperation.

It hides under the cloak of universally-accepted concepts and principles such as the right to migrate, the “right to development”, “responsibility of government to manage” but peddles on “remittance as a survival mechanism for poor countries” and “temporary labor migration” as a “flexible way of meeting labor surplus and shortage across countries”.

It avoids the notion that migration is an “alternative to development” because it will expose the undeniable fact that “neoliberal” globalization has failed miserably on its promise to usher development, especially in poor countries that has a vast pool of unemployed. It also unmasks the real intent of the current drive of First World countries and their institutions to exploit the migration phenomenon, the lucrative labor export programs and migrant remittances for the purpose of salvaging or propping up the collapsing economies, especially of semi-colonies and dependent countries.

GFMD sells neoliberal anti-poverty and financing strategies by promoting the concept that “migration promotes development” and that the remittances of migrants helps the economy and therefore serves as a “tool for development”. It directs its efforts towards capturing the remittances of migrants to: a) ensure super profits of bank monopolies, and b) ensure that debt-ridden economies have a large currency reserve to pay off debts.

The underlying agenda however is to do away with capital pump-priming and ODA which donor countries and IFIs have so far been unable to meet for the past several decades. This exposes the fact that neoliberal globalization currently has not brought Third World countries any closer to the eradication of global poverty and unemployment.

It promotes the concept of government responsibility to “manage migration” in order to augment state revenues and help cover deficits in foreign payments. Managing migration meant institutionalizing migration policies, adopting “policy coherence” in all its related branches of government, and by “aligning” migration policies with development policies domestically and internationally. This concept exposes that the underlying neoliberal agenda is for Third World countries to continue to tow the line of neoliberal policies (liberalization, privatization, deregulation, etc), policies that bred a vast pool of unemployed and underemployed, the very same policies that brought Third World countries heavily indebted and in a state of abject poverty.

It employs post post-Washington strategy of “transparency” and “shared responsibility” thru “inter-partnership” with all “stakeholders” in the name of development but marginalizes the role of the most important stakeholder on this issue – the migrants themselves. Consultations and representation of migrant organizations in HLF are nil. Even in dialogues with civil society organizations, migrant representation is merely a token.

While there is some truth that remittances temporarily alleviates the financial woes of families of migrants, this perverse notion signifies greater commodification of migrants and the  perpetuation of conditions for cheap labor, not to mention the social costs of migration, especially on children and families.

It is time to expose that this so-called “development” thru migration and reliance on remittances as development tool are neoliberal anti-poverty and financing concepts and strategy that thrives on people’s exploitation and miseries of migrants, enhances labor flexibilization and therefore, greater commodification of labor, and only brings Third World countries into the quagmire of poverty because these do not address the root causes of underdevelopment  and the massive migration of peoples from poor countries.

National and Global Response

The forthcoming GFMD is being hosted by the Arroyo regime in the Philippines. The Arroyo regime is the nightmare of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).  No other regime than this has squelched the OFWs dry with enormous exactions from fees to charges to taxes.  It has duped OFWs to part with their earnings in collusion with big business, illegal recruiters, traffickers and racketeers, and in utter disregard of the abuses and violations of migrants’ rights. It is currently riding high on the phenomenal increase (from $13B in 2006 to $16B in 2007) in dollar remittances even as OFWs continue to reel from the falling value of their dollars.

Effectively, this regime has began to cover its budget deficits, pay the country’s international creditors, and brag about “sound fundamentals” largely borne by the blood, sweat and tears of the country’s migrants.  For all its “achievements,” the Arroyo regime is playing poster girl to the next GFMD.

Yet nothing about development is written on the sad and angry faces of Filipino migrants and their families.  And nothing of the same could be measured in the lives of some 200 million migrants of various nationalities and races around the globe.  What is clearer is a renewed offensive against the rights and welfare of migrants as the next GFMD unfolds.  And the only path is resistance — a resistance that can span countries and continents, cross borders, break down barriers of race and gender, and developing the cooperation and partnership of migrants, their advocates and their families all around the world.

As Prof. Jose Ma. Sison, chairperson of the International League of People’s Struggles (ILPS), says: “The GFMD cannot be expected to become relevant and helpful to the most important of its supposed stakeholders – the migrant workers themselves – as it fails to address the essential issues of the migration phenomenon, including the immediate and long-term issues involving the migrant workers.”

It is thus important for all progressive migrants and refugees to play a defining role in the GFMD process and to be at the forefront of their own struggles against neoliberal globalization and its devices, and to link their struggles with those of all other oppressed peoples and sectors.

The role of advocate groups and institutions is also important in strengthening the voice of migrants and refugees and in promoting their rights and welfare to the GFMD process.###

Prepared by:

The International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees (IAMR)
Manila, Philippines
E-mail : iamr.sec.08@gmail.com


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TEN DAYS TO SHAKE GFMD

Oct. 18th, 2008 | 01:52 am

Migrante International will be spearheading a protest campaign called "Ten Days to Shake GFMD". Every day for ten days prior to the GFMD, various mass organizations in the Philippines and abroad will be launching massive protest actions to condemn the sham gathering.

- Letter to the Editor, Pinoy Weekly, Oct. 2008 [read the whole article here]

It is also only in the Philippines where doctors study to be nurses to be able to work abroad. But the most disturbing sign of desperation is seeing returning Filipino workers who have experienced abuse and traumatic situations opting to return to work abroad rather than die of hunger and poverty in the Philippines. And the Arroyo government is more than happy to oblige because it is dependent on remittances to prop up the economy.  This is the reality of migrant labor that is hardly reflected in the Global Forum for Migration and Development.

- Bulatlat.com Analysis, Vol. 8 No. 31, Sept. 7-13, 2008 [read the whole article here]

Read news coverage of the "Ten Days" by GMANews and Bulatlat.


Schedule of Activities

Oct. 17 - Black Friday Protest at the DFA, 10am [click here for more details]

Oct. 19 - Migrante International-led Rally to Mendiola

Oct. 20 - Giant Banner Unfurling against GFMD on all 3rd World Embassies in Manila

Oct. 24 - Picket Protest at the World Bank Office

Oct. 27 - Anti-GFMD Rally with delegates of Asian Students Association

Oct. 29 - Multisectoral Protest against GFMD, Pinoy OFWs' NO REMITTANCE DAY

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ILPS statement on the US and Global economic and financial crisis

Oct. 18th, 2008 | 01:45 am

CONDEMN ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIMES,
INTENSIFY THE STRUGGLE AGAINST IMPERIALISM

 

Statement on the US and Global Economic and Financial Crisis

By the International League of Peoples' Struggle

 

We, the International League of Peoples' Struggle, take cognizance of the total discredit of the "free market" dogma, the unravelling of the policy of "neoliberal globalization" and the gravity of the current level of the economic and financial crisis of the imperialist powers headed by the US. We condemn in the strongest terms all the economic and financial crimes of monopoly capitalism against the people under the slogans of "free market" and "neoliberal globalization" .

 

Such crimes are as follows:

 

  1. The systematic driving down of the wages and other incomes of the working people and the suppression of their democratic rights for the purpose of maximizing the profits of the monopoly firms in the imperialist and other countries;

 

  1. The cutbacks on social spending by governments for education, health and other basic services, tax cuts, gilded contracts, subsidies and insurance for the monopoly firms, the privatization of state assets , deregulation to make way for the unbridled exploitation of the working people and the environment and the use of  state power in the service of monopoly capitalism;

 

  1. The use of cheap labour in the less developed countries like China and India in order to produce cheap raw materials and semi-manufactured consumer products for the imperialist countries and thereby maximize imperialist profits;

 

  1. The accelerated accumulation and centralization of productive and finance capital in the hands of the monopoly bourgeoisie and the growing financialization of the home economies of the US and other imperialist powers, with the financial corporations rapidly increasing their share of corporate profits;

 

  1. The unbridled use of debt financing for consumption in order to conjure the illusion of economic growth,  to cover trade deficits and budgetary deficits, to fuel corporate speculation in  stock and bond issuances, mergers and derivatives, to allow unregulated money creation and debt expansion by commercial and  investment banks and to stimulate financial bubbles like the mortgage scam in the US and elsewhere and debt-based consumption by households amidst industrial decline and decreasing employment in the US and other imperialist countries;

 

  1. The use of public funds as well as people's savings  deposits and pension funds to bail out the bankrupted mortgage banks, commercial and investment banks and insurance companies involved in the massive mortgage fraud  in the US  and  the global spread of  poisoned securities backed by bad mortgages; and

 

  1. The continuing accumulation and concentration of capital in the hands of the strongest corporate giants and the redeployment of finance capital in food, fuel and minerals causing a new bubble in prime commodities and generating inflation and price gouging at the expense of the broad masses of the people amidst depression and rampant unemployment.

 

The financial crisis, ignited by the mortgage meltdown and characterized by the bankruptcies of banks, abrupt stock market falls and severe credit crunch, and the economic crisis involving the further stagnation and depression of production and consumer market are destroying the forces of production and wreaking havoc on the lives of the people on a global scale.

 

The crisis of the imperialist system keeps on worsening, as the imperialist powers and all reactionary forces strive to preserve the moribund system of oppression and exploitation.  They incite extreme reaction and fan the flames of chauvinism, racism, religious bigotry, fascism, military intervention and wars of aggression.   Under these conditions, the suffering people everywhere are increasingly compelled to fight for their democratic rights and for national and social liberation.

 

We, the International League of Peoples' Struggle, call on the people of the world:

 

  1. To expose and oppose the root cause,  historical sequence  and  circumstances of the current economic and financial crisis and condemn the economic and financial crimes of the US and other imperialist powers;

 

  1. To intensify the mass movement for national and social liberation and wage all forms of struggle against the imperialist powers and their puppet states in all their attempts to perpetuate the imperialist system of exploitation and oppression and suppress the people's movement by fomenting chauvinism, racism, religious bigotry and under the guise of anti- terrorism unleashing fascism, military intervention and wars of aggression;

 

  1. To take advantage of the adverse effects of the aforesaid crisis on the status of the US as the No. 1 imperialist power,  the intensified economic competition and political rivalries among the imperialist powers and the general discredit of the imperialist powers and their puppet states; 

 

  1. To seek ways of alleviating the poverty and economic suffering of the people while waging struggles against imperialism and the local reactionaries; and

 

  1. To strengthen all progressive and democratic anti-imperialist  forces and build the united front for the purpose of advancing the revolutionary mass movement in order to fight and defeat imperialism and reaction establishing new revolutionary and democratic states within  the foreseeable future.

 

We are greatly inspired and strengthened by the resounding success of the Third International Assembly of the International League of Peoples' Struggle. We feel confident and ever ready to realize our prime objective of bringing about greater unity among the people's organisations and greater advances   of the people's struggles against imperialism and all reaction.

 

We reaffirm our commitment and resolve to step-up our preparations for the coordinated series of campaigns and actions and intensify the various forms of struggle against the whole imperialist system and all reactionary forces in power. We call on all progressive, democratic and anti-imperialist forces to join us and to seize every opportunity to unite and intensify the common struggle along the consistent and militant anti-imperialist and democratic line. 

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World Foodless Day

Oct. 18th, 2008 | 01:32 am

IBON Press statement/16 October 2008
Reference: Rosario Bella Guzman (IBON executive director)

GLOBALIZATION, PROFITEERING, LACK OF GENUINE AGRARIAN REFORM BEHIND WORSENING FOOD CRISIS
Civil society groups call October 16 ‘World Foodless Day’

As the world celebrates World Food Day today, research group IBON join civil society groups worldwide in denouncing globalization polices and corporate profiteering, which have made food a commodity for trade and speculation that worsened global hunger.

Global food prices have risen by 75% since 2000, according to the World Bank, while prices of rice, corn, wheat, and soybean have hit all-time highs. Prices of meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products naturally follow the upward trends of grains prices. Amid the global financial crisis, increased speculation in food and fuel prices is seen as a possible consequence that will further push food prices up and worsen the poor’s access to food.

The world is facing its worst food crisis that has been aggravated by trade liberalization policies imposed by international finance institutions (IFIs) like the International Monetary Fund and trade bodies such as the World Trade Organization. These policies have allowed intensified profiteering by food transnational corporations (TNCs). In fact while more and more people go hungry everyday, TNCs such as Cargill and grain traders such as Archer Daniels Midland reported increased profits as of the first quarter of 2008.

TNCs in its desire for more profits have continued to lobby IFIs and Third World government to implement globalization policies in food and agriculture, including liberalization of trade and investment in agriculture, privatization of public organs in agricultural extension services such as irrigation, trading and the like, and deregulation of government roles in pricing, marketing and even land reforms. These globalization policies compound the deep crisis of agriculture and food production in underdeveloped countries due to decades-old landlessness of farmers, backwardness of their tools and production, monopoly of land, tools and inputs, TNC control in production and trade, and government neglect. Thus, ironically, hunger is at its worst in rural communities in the Third World where most food and agricultural production take place.

Globalization has not only resulted in the increasing bankruptcy and worsening poverty and hunger of farmers and consumers, but also in continuously eroding local production and self-sufficiency of Third World countries.

Civil society, peasant groups, and people’s organizations around the world consider World Food Day an opportune time to send a strong message that farmers and people of the Third World reject globalization, trade liberalization, and TNC profiteering of agriculture. It is also a time to recognize the successful efforts of broad alliances of farmers and people’s organizations for strengthened protests against globalization, struggle against genuine agrarian reform, and relentlessly demand for social accountability. (end)

World Foodless Day events are being held in more than fourteen countries across Asia and being supported by civil society groups around the globe. For more details on the events of World Foodless Day, visit http://www.panap. net/wfd

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