Anakbayan New Jersey Condemns Martial Law and Its Legacy

ABNJ CONDEMNS MARTIAL LAW AND ITS LEGACY

For Immediate Release

Press Statement

September 23, 2015

Reference:

Gian Parel, Anakbayan New Jersey

(470) 309-2265, anakbayannj@gmail.com

It has now been forty-three years since Ferdinand Marcos imposed martial law to breed and reign terror on the Philippines for more than eight years. Martial law is lauded as a time of progress in Philippine history, but what is too often forgotten—or outright silenced and erased—are the victims of human rights and their realities of political imprisonment, disappearances, torture, and even execution during this time. We, the youth and students of Anakbayan New Jersey (ABNJ), condemn martial law and uplift those who have struggled against it, in the past as well as today.

On September 21, 1972, Marcos declared martial law under Proclamation No. 1081 under claims of “lawless violence” and “armed insurrection and rebellion” by suspected communists, thereby seizing absolute power as dictator until the declaration was lifted on January 17, 1981. Peace and order were fiction during this time, and in fact the opposite was happening: there were over 70,000 individuals arrested; 34,000 tortured; 3,240 salvaged or executed; and 1,000 disappeared under Marcos’s fascist state, according to Amnesty International.

Another red scare has been bred by the current president, Benigno Aquino III, and the counterinsurgency program Oplan Bayanihan terrorizing Lumad (indigenous) communities in Mindanao. It should be no surprise that the United States has supported martial law and Oplan Bayanihan.

As dictator, Marcos also abused his power to accept billions of dollars in aid from the United States and the U.S.-backed World Bank and International Monetary Fund. In October 1983, however, the Philippine government announced that it was unable to pay back its foreign debt of $24 billion.1 Filipinos are still paying off this debt, including those abroad whose remittances are worth USD 184 million, 10% of the Philippines’ gross domestic product (GDP).2

Marcos was also praised for increasing the economic growth during martial law: from 1965 to 1971 the average growth rate was 4.9%, while it leaped to a 5.7% average from 1972 to 1981.3 In 1983 and 1984 after the Marcos regime defaulted on its debt, GDP actually fell to a devastating negative 7.3%. One of the effects of this economic decline was a sharp widening of the gap between the poorest and richest. The poor got poorer, while the rich got even richer. This economic gap lives on to today.

Martial law set a legitimized a pattern of impunity that is still the order of the day as Lumads are killed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and paramilitary groups. Funny, however, that the current Aquino regime recently echoed the popular call of “never again” to martial law, patting themselves on the back.

In continuing the fight against impunity in the Philippines, ABNJ screened Dekada ‘70 last week and participated in an action to commemorate the survivors of martial law on September 21st. “Unfortunately, there are many people, including children of the Filipino diaspora, that are unaware of the human rights violations that have taken place and of Martial Law itself,” reflects ABNJ member Laura Emily Endaya Austria. “The screening of Dekada ‘70 is one of many ways we can make the conversation and history of Martial Law salient in society’s minds as we strive to prevent Martial Law from taking place again.”

The September 21st martial law action called for all people to stand up for Lumads and to stop the killings in Mindanao. Among other speakers, ABNJ member Jonathan Zirkle stated, “Our people risk death every day of their lives whilst they live beneath the heel of bureaucrat capitalists.”

We call on everyone to sign the Unity Statement to condemn escalating human rights violations. Condemn Oplan Bayanihan and the killings of lumads in Mindanao as legacies of martial law. We as ABNJ acknowledge the long-lasting impacts of martial law under Marcos’s dictatorship and call for all people to stand up for human rights in the Philippines.

NEVER AGAIN TO MARTIAL LAW!

###

Notes

  1. Boyce, James K. 1993. The Philippines: The Political Economy of Growth and Impoverishment in the Marcos Era. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
  2. World Bank estimates based on IMF balance of payments data.
  3. World Bank national accounts data and OECD National Accounts data files.

BAYAN USA Northeast Protests Extrajudicial Killings of Lumad Leaders at the Philippine Consulate

ne statement.002

For Immediate Release

Press Statement

September 4, 2015

Reference: Joelle Eliza Lingat, Chairperson, Anakbayan New Jersey

anakbayannj@gmail.com, 201.675.8278

Lean Deleon, Cultural Officer, New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines

nychrp@gmail.com, 510.586.8799

BAYAN USA Northeast Protests Extrajudicial Killings of Lumad Leaders at the Philippine Consulate

Julie_Jamora_Save_Our_Schools__DSC_2038

BAYAN NE in front of the Philippine Consulate (PC: Julie Jamora, http://www.juliejamora.com/)

NEW YORK – On September 4, 2015, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) USA Northeast, alongside the New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP), GABRIELA New York, Anakbayan New York (ABNY), Anakbayan New Jersey (ABNJ), and solidarity allies protested inside and in front of the Philippine Consulate in condemnation of the extrajudicial killing of Lumad leaders Emerito Samarca, Dionel Campos, and Bello Sinzo. The mobilization was a part of a larger International Day of Action by BAYAN USA, Anakbayan USA, and the Save Our Schools Network in cities such as Toronto, Los Angeles, and Seattle.

On September 1, 2015 around 4:00 AM, elements of the 36th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army under Colonel Aaron Akas; elements of the 75th Special Forces; and elements of the paramilitary bandit group of Marcos Bocales forced Sitio Han-ayan civilians out of their homes, confiscated their cell phones and cameras and were told to evacuate the area. Around the same time, Loloy and Bobby Tejero of the paramilitary bandit group shot and killed Dionel Campos and Bello Sinzo. Emirto Samaracas, who was seen forced into a classroom with his neck, hands and feet tied the day before, was also discovered dead with a stab wound.  

In response to such killings and terrorization in the community, fifty activists gathered in front of the Philippine Consulate with a tableau of tied up victims and blindfolds with the names of killed indigenous leaders. Additionally, a group of Filipinos and solidarity allies entered the Consulate and created a people’s mic check to call attention to the lack of justice and state accountability for the latest extrajudicial killings and mass displacements. After the peaceful protest, as the activists were exiting, the Consulate would not open their doors and held the activists against their will.   

“We exercised our right to free speech and told the truth about the killings and forced evacuation. We were met with hostility [and] intimidation and [were then] detained by the Consulate staff who would not give a valid reason [for] why we were being detained,” said Berna Ellorin, chairperson of BAYAN USA. “We are seeking justice and accountability for the killings of Emerito Samarca, director of the Lumad school ALCADEV and Lumad leaders Dionel Campos and Bello Sinzo. Ultimately, it was the power of protest, both outside and inside the Consulate that forced them to release us even after the NYPD arrived. We will not be silenced. We will continue to demand justice and accountability from the Aquino government until both are attained.”       

President Aquino’s counterinsurgency program, Oplan Bayanihan, continues to quell resistance. As an extension of the United States’ War on Terror, Oplan Bayanihan has committed 238 extrajudicial killings, 27 enforced disappearances, and 59,612 forced evacuations. Despite the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act of 1997, which aims to protect indigenous people’s rights to their ancestral domain, Oplan Bayanihan has criminalized people. This is especially true with that of indigenous people, having resisted land encroachments by multinational mining corporations. Furthermore, whole communities are criminalized and schools built for indigenous children are disrupted, such as that in Han-ayan, where 3,000 children are denied their right to an education and 500 families are denied safety and permanency of their homes.

Indigenous people in Han-ayan, Caraga, Mindanao, and the rest of the Philippines are fighting for their right to self-determination; education; safe homes; basic rights; and a land that indigenous people have depended on for centuries. Fifty percent of the Armed Forces of the Philippines are stationed in Mindanao and strategically placed where mining corporations are extracting resources. The bureaucrat capitalist government has shown up in full force to protect the interests of imperialists. It is in this twisted reality governed by the avarice of imperialist powers and their bureaucratic colluders that the military justifies its human rights violations in killing three innocent people. Manoy Emok, Dionel Campos, and Bello Sinzo were people who fought for justice for the indigenous people. Because of this, they  were silenced by the Philippine military at the auspices of their U.S. puppet masters.

“Araw-araw na pinapatay, pinagmamalupitan, o ginagahasa ng mga paramilitary ang mga katutubong Lumad sa Mindanao,” said Ruthie Arroyo, Interim Vice Chairperson of Anakbayan New Jersey, “Sa kasamaang palad, ang walang awang pagpatay kay Tatay Emok, Dionel Campos at Bello Sinzo ay hindi lamang ang nagiisang kaso nang paglalabag sa karapatang panatao ng Lumad. Ang counterinsurgency program ng rehimeng Aquino o Oplan Bayanihan ay nagbibigay daan para hindi managot ang mga militar sa pagsusupil at pagsasakop ng lupain na pag-aari ng mga katutubo. Ilan pa bang kababayan natin ang kailangan pahirapan at patayin bago tayo magkaisa? Let us link arms and express our deep opposition to the numerous killings and occupation in Mindanao brought upon by Oplan Bayanihan! As Filipino-Americans, let us demand to put a stop to the $50 million U.S. military aid sent to the Philippines annually.”

In March 2014, the Quadrennial Defense Review outlined “three mutually supporting pillars that shape our defense priorities: protect the homeland; build security globally; and project power and win decisively.” The review claims humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and to defeat aggression, disrupt, and destroy terrorist networks. However, in execution, disaster relief assistance was subpar and superficial during Super Typhoon Haiyan. Are to we to say that destroying terrorist networks means carrying out extrajudicial killing of educators and community leaders in ALCADEV, MAPASU, and countless other indigenous people’s communities across the Philippines? Are we expected to believe that these are isolated incidents when days after the attack in Surigao Del Sur, military harassment persisted in Bukidnon following a fact finding mission of the Pangantucan 5?

As Filipinos and allies in the U.S., it is our democratic right and duty to halt the spending of federal tax dollars towards overseas military spending. Instead, we should redirect money towards domestic social services. The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense’s United States Department of Defense Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Request of February 2015 allotted $50.9 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations to conduct operations in the Middle East, the Horn of Africa, and, specifically, the Philippines. According to the Congressional Research Service, between 2002 and 2013, the U.S. provided the Philippines $312 million in military assistance. We galvanize the masses of the U.S. to exercise their electoral strength and use Congress’ power of the purse to reject U.S. imperialism.

While we recognize the limits of electoral politics, the undeniable flow of resources from the fascist state to its neo-colony must be cut off at its source. We strengthen our mass movement by wounding the imperialist beast through multilateral weapons of struggle. As we continue to agitate, organize, and mobilize our communities, we also demand that the U.S. Congress eliminate foreign military expenditure. With the intensification of the conditions of the indigenous peoples and toiling masses of Filipinos in our home country, our people are entering a decisive moment of struggling for liberation or the death of our country. To honor Emerito Samarca, Dionel Campos, and Bello Sinzo, BAYAN USA Northeast calls upon our communities to fight for the rights of our children so that they can study our history of struggle and for our people to execute it for genuine peace and national democracy.

JUSTICE FOR EMERITO SAMARCA, DIONEL CAMPOS, BELLO SINZO, CRISANTO AND SINZO TABUGOL BROTHERS!

STOP EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS!

END THE MILITARIZATION OF LUMAD SCHOOLS!

END OPLAN BAYANIHAN & STATE SPONSORED VIOLENCE!

NO TO U.S. MILITARY AID FOR STATE-SPONSORED TERRORISM IN THE PHILIPPINES!

###

Julie_Jamora_Save_Our_Schools__DSC_1835

Anakbayan New Jersey Member, Jon Zirkle in front of the Philippine Consulate. (PC: Julie Jamora)

Julie_Jamora_Save_Our_Schools__DSC_2059

“END IMPUNITY” (PC: Julie Jamora)

Julie_Jamora_Save_Our_Schools__DSC_1798

Concerned Community calls for Stop the Killings in Mindanao (PC: Julie Jamora)

Julie_Jamora_Save_Our_Schools__DSC_1888

ALCADEV Mobe (PC: Julie Jamora)

The Straight Path to Corruption and Criminality: OUST AQUINO at his Last State of the Nation Address

For Immediate Release

Press Statement

July 28, 2015

Reference:

Laura Emily Endaya Austria, Anakbayan New Jersey

Joelle Eliza Lingat, Chairperson, Anakbayan New Jersey

(470) 309-2265, anakbayannj@gmail.com

 

The Straight Path to Corruption and Criminality: OUST AQUINO at his Last State of the Nation Address

SONA in Jersey City "5 Corners"

Anakbayan NJ, alongside member organizations of BAYAN-USA North East refuted the US-Aquino regime’s final State of the Nation Address through a two-day protest in Jersey City, NJ and Manhattan, NYC. Delegates also delivered the guilty verdict of the International Peoples’ Tribunal to the Philippine consulate to highlight the lies President B.S. Aquino delivered hours beforehand. B.S. Aquino’s has continued the legacy of egregious criminal acts against the Filipino people of the administrations predecessing him and enough is enough!

On July 27, 2015, President B.S. Aquino again tried to pull the wool over the eyes of the Filipino people. However, after five years of empty promises and lies, the people have poured into the streets in the thousands, across the world to declare that enough is enough. His so-called straight and narrow path of reforms has only led to literal death and destitution for our people. SONA 2015 is a mere veil to ever-worsening crisis of the semi-feudal and semi-colonial society of our homeland.

Throughout his address, B.S. Aquino continued to distance himself from the undeniable corruption of his administration. When he first mentioned “Government Owned and Controlled Corporations,” (GOCC) B.S. Aquino claimed no responsibility for the monetary abuse facilitated by the appointees to these GOCCs. Yet, in a May 13th article, President Aquino “order[ed] a review of their bonuses to ‘maximize’ their lawful benefits.” People question how he can spout such contradictory statements when he siphones these funds for his cronies, but this was clearly foreseen from his haciendro bureaucrat capitalist background even from the start of his reign.

B.S. Aquino dared to continue with the National Budget, alleging that projects that were already completed were still receiving funding because of the approval of the General Appropriations Act in 2007. He feigned concern that these funds would be funneled into wrongful channels, yet the money was already sent into the pockets of his cronies. With the upcoming election, we must collectively reject corruption in government agencies for election fundraising and this barkadahan system of governance. There is no accountability of high ranking officials of the government, and as a people, we must make an example of B.S. Aquino by exposing and opposing his criminality and corruption.

Following, B.S. Aquino feigned shock at improvement of the Philippine economy because he “only thought of fixing the crooked system to prevent our people from sinking deeper into poverty.” But what crooked system did he fix if the problems not only remain, but have exacerbated with his regime?  If B.S. Aquino truly cared about the welfare of the Filipino people, he would not be shooting our farmers down. If he truly cared about the welfare of the Filipino people, he would be giving back all the land to the rightful owners. If he truly cared about the welfare of the Filipino people, he would not be promoting and fostering a situation where the Filipino people are reduced to cheap labor that can be exported abroad for the whims of other countries to take advantage of. If he truly cared about the welfare of the Filipino people, maybe there wouldn’t be anymore forced disappearances of our loved ones who are trying to fight for those who are being suppressed by the B.S. Aquino administration.

As Filipino youth and students in the U.S., we are continually baffled by the expected regime’s empty rhetoric. From the Public Private Partnership and Conditional Transfer to lack of social services and widespread contractualization and low wages, we cannot allow B.S. Aquino to fail our kababayans another moment more. We condemn foreign intervention, whether from the U.S., Japan, or China and condemn the continued cycle of bureaucrat capitalist presidences. It is time we take action to our sentiments because five years has been too long. Aquino must be ousted and we must institute a government for the people!

Enough is enough! End the puppet, oppressive, repressive and corrupt government now!

Five years without reforms: Oust the US-Aquino regime!

Onward with the people’s national democratic struggle for genuine reforms!

####

Struggle for National Democracy as the Only Path for Change

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Struggle for National Democracy as the Only Path for Change

Anakbayan-USA joins Filipinos across the US on July 23rd to expose the outright lies and deception of the US-puppet regime of Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III as he delivers his third State of the Nation Address.  We call on the Filipino youth to fulfill its revolutionary role as the hope of the nation by fully participating in our people’s struggle for genuine change which can only be realized through achieving National Democracy.

Success and Progress For Whom?

Aquino’s mythology of taking a “Righteous Path” only serves the interests of the ruling class and US imperialism.  He hypes the 6.4% gross domestic product growth rate as a sign of success, but this so-called “growth” only benefits the top 1% of Filipinos – the big landlords and big corporations.  Despite the global economic crisis, the top 40 richest Filipinos doubled their wealth from $23 billion in 2009 to a total $47.4 billion in 2011.  Meanwhile, working families are experiencing deepening poverty and economic hardship.  This is made possible through Aquino’s economic centerpiece, the Public-Private Partnership program, which increases the privatization and commercialization of vital services such as health and education.  Approximately 26 public hospitals are to be turned over to private corporations and 1.4 million urban poor families are in danger of being displaced in order to make way for business projects of private corporations.

By deregulating the costs of tuition and repeatedly cutting the budget for public schools, Aquino has made education inaccessible to the majority of Filipino youth.  There is a rising number of college dropouts due to the fact that public schools are now as expensive as private schools.  Currently, 50% of children age 11-15 are out-of-school.  Aquino’s conversion to a K-12 educational system only serves the demands of the foreign labor market by producing more semi-skilled workers to be exploited in low-paying jobs overseas.  It does not create genuine economic development for the Philippines.  Meanwhile, the great majority of youth continue to be unemployed or underemployed under short-term contractual jobs.

Aquino maintains and imposes this unjust order through Oplan Bayanihan, the US-dictated counter insurgency program that unleashes violence on the civilian population and continues the previous Arroyo regime’s blatant disregard for human rights.  At least one community leader or activist is killed every week, amounting to a total of 100 victims of extrajudicial killings.  This brutal counter insurgency program is funded by $30 million in military aid from our US tax dollars.

Selling-Out the Philippines’ Sovereignty

Aquino is pushing to further entrench the Philippines as a vassal state of US imperialism.  He pretends to be ultra-patriotic against China’s muscle flexing in the disputed territories of Scarborough Shoal and Spratly Islands, while openly allowing the intrusion of US military forces in the Philippines.  Currently, there are 4,500 US troops in the Philippines.  Predator drones are deployed for surveillance and bombing operations, particularly in Mindanao. Nuclear-capable warships and submarines dock for service in the Philippine shores.  What’s worse, Aquino has illegally given permission for the reopening of former US military bases in the Philippines.  All of these treasonous acts are in complete disregard and violation of the provisions in the Philippine Constitution of 1987 that prohibit foreign troops.

National Democracy vs. Aquino’s “Righteous Path”

The current state of the Philippine nation clearly tells us that Aquino’s “Righteous Path” is leading us towards greater poverty, hunger and exploitation.  It also clearly tells us that the only true solution is to continue and intensify our struggle for national liberation and genuine people’s democracy.

The struggle for National Democracy is the movement to achieve genuine independence by liberating the country from foreign control and establishing a truly democratic people’s government that is run by the working people themselves.  It is the fulfillment of the concrete needs and interests of the majority in the Philippines, particularly the peasants and workers which comprise 90% of the population.

Through implementing a genuine agrarian reform, land monopolies of the major landlords like the Cojuangco-Aquinos will be dismantled and distributed to the landless peasants, liberating 75% of the population from a backward and exploitative condition.  This land reform serve as the foundation for national industrialization that will enable us to tap the rich natural resources of the Philippines for benefit of our people.  It is only through national industrialization that we can create full employment for the Filipino people and put an end to the systematic export of migrant labor as a means of survival.

Under this new system, free quality health care and education will be available for all.  The guarantee of political and civil rights will ensure the full development and participation of the people towards true social progress.

Youth as the Hope of the Nation

It is apparent that there is no bright future for the Filipino youth and people under the current political, economic, and social system in the Philippines.  Now more than ever, it is urgent that Filipino youth combine with all the sectors of Philippine society to replace the current system with one that truly serves their interests.

As chapters of Anakbayan are now being established across the US, Canada, and Australia, we have an important role in spreading awareness to the international community of our people’s struggle for freedom.  As Filipino youth overseas, we must arouse, organize and mobilize the people to address the needs of our community abroad and strengthen international support for the struggle for National Democracy, the only genuine solution to the problems in the Philippines.

It is only by fully participating and contributing to the struggle for national democracy can we concretely fulfill our role as the true hope of the nation.

Reject the Lies of the US-Aquino Regime!

US Troops Out of the Philippines!

Increase the Budget for Education and Social Services!

Advance the Struggle for National Democracy in the Philippines!

 

Filipino Youth and Students hold Founding Congress of Anakbayan-USA in the midst of Anti-NATO Protests in Chicago

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Chicago, IL – On May 18, Filipino youth and student leaders from across the US convened at the Centro Autonomo community center, located in the Albany Park neighborhood of Chicago, for the historic Anakbayan-USA Founding Congress.  The congress established Anakbayan-USA as a nationwide organization and overseas national chapter of Anakbayan Philippines in the midst of city-wide protest marches and rallies against the ongoing North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit. This, according to organizers, is their symbolic protest and act of defiance against the global 1% represented by NATO.

The theme of the founding congress declared the purpose and direction of Anakbayan-USA: “Makibaka! Huwag Matakot! Unite and Strengthen the Filipino Youth Movement in the US to Advance the Struggle for National Democracy in the Philippines!”  The theme is aimed at calling on the youth to join the struggle against the increased repression in the US and to contribute to the struggle for genuine social change in the Philippines. 

“It [AB-USA Founding Congress] couldn’t have come on any other day than today, in the face of G8 and NATO.  This is our act of defiance.  Our coming here together as youth and students of our people is our act of defiance in the face of imperialism. We owe this to our brothers and sisters who have suffered and who have sacrificed their lives to fight for our people’s liberation,” said Yves Nibungco, elected founding National Chairperson of Anakbayan-USA. 

Over 60 delegates from Anakbayan chapters in Seattle, Los Angeles, New York, New Jersey, San Diego, East Bay (Oakland), Silicon Valley and Chicago, including delegates from affiliate organization, League of Filipino Students (LFS) – San Francisco State University came to the founding congress to approve a General Program of Action and elect the National Executive Committee of Anakbayan-USA. Those elected were Yves Nibungco of Anakbayan New Jersey as Chairperson, Janelle Quibuyen of Anakbayan Seattle as Vice Chairperson, Eric Tandoc of Anakbayan Los Angeles as Secretary General, Ivan Penetrante of Anakbayan San Diego as Education Officer, Noemi Teppang of Anakbayan Silicon Valley as Finance Officer and Lyle Prijoles of the League of Filipino Students-SFSU as Solidarity Officer. 

The keynote speech was delivered through a pre-recorded video by Jose Maria Sison, the exiled Filipino revolutionary and founding chairperson of the seminal Filipino youth organization, Kabataang Makabayan (KM). “We are certain that your congress will strengthen your resolve and will instruct you to arouse the Filipino youth throughout the US, expand and consolidate Anakbayan-USA and mobilize an increasing number of Filipino youth along the line of anti-imperialist and democratic struggle and militant support for the struggle of the Filipino youth and people for national liberation and democracy in the Philippines,” said Sison.

A live message was given via Skype by Renato Reyes, Secretary General of Bayan Philippines and founding chairperson of Anakbayan Philippines in 1998, in which he affirmed the role of Anakbayan in the US.  “Anakbayan can introduce Philippine history, society and revolution to a growing number of Filipino-Americans who long to understand their roots and the struggle in the homeland. At the same time, the Fil-Am youth experience first-hand problems of racism and discrimination as well as economic exploitation and imperialist war. Anakbayan should also organize the immigrant youth who are familiar with the severity of the crisis in the Philippines, often the reason why they have to migrate,” said Reyes.

Chanting “Makibaka! Huwag matakot!”, a protest chant popularized during the anti-Marcos dictatorship struggle in the 70’s, members of Anakbayan-USA pledged “to continue to expose the rotten character of the Aquino regime and to raise the struggle for national democracy to a new level of intensity.”  The delegates concluded the founding congress with a group oath-taking and singing of progressive Filipino songs.

Anakbayan-USA later marched with the “national liberation” contingent at the Coalition Against the NATO/G8 demonstrations in downtown Chicago comprised of Filipinos, Puerto Ricans, Palestinians, Canadians and others to denounce NATO and G8 as instruments of the “Global 1%” in exploiting third world countries like the Philippines. ###