Monthly Archives: January 2008

Executive Secretary Ermita Lets the Cat Out of the Bag

By LUIS G. JALANDONI
Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel
25 January 2008

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita lets the cat out of the bag when he said, “So what’s …the end game for negotiation? Let’s silence the guns.” He thus exposes his militarist mindset. All he wants from peace negotiations is that the people’s army surrenders.
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NDFP Condemns Arrest of Randall Echanis!

By LUIS G. JALANDONI
Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel 29 January 2008

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) vigorously condemns the illegal arrest of Mr. Randall Echanis, member of the NDFP Reciprocal Working Committee (RWC) on Social and Economic Reforms (SER), by the Arroyo regime’s police agents yesterday at Bago City, Negros Occidental. Mr. Echanis was in Bago City to attend a conference of agricultural workers in preparation for a national rural congress.
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Statement on the Arrest and Continuing Detention of KMP Leader Randall Echanis

The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan condemns the arrest and continuing detention of peasant organizer Randall Echanis, deputy secretary general of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas. After spending the night at the Bago City Jail in Negros Occidental, Echanis was taken by helicopter to Hilonggos, Leyte where he is set to face trumped up charges of multiple murder. Echanis, like his co-accused Rep. Satur Ocampo, was incarcerated at the time the alleged murders happened in Leyte. Echanis was also similarly accused of the crime of rebellion along with 50 others. The Supreme Court has since junked the rebellion raps.
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Students Hold Protest at Education Summit

The League of Filipino Students together with other youth groups staged today a protest rally at Manila Hotel, the venue of the government's Education Summit to demand a "general overhaul" of the country's educational system and a reversal of the "rotten neoliberal policies" currently plaguing Philippine education.

Hanjin Workers Brutally Dispersed

Around 50 combined elements of Cabuyao Philippine National Police and Laguna Industrial Park Police Assistance Group (LIPPAG) dispersed the protest march of more than a hundred Hanjin workers and supporters from 5PM till 6PM, at Gatchalian Industrial Subdivision in Barangay Banay-Banay, Cabuyao, Laguna. The dispersal took place after negotiations between representatives of Hanjin workers and management, in the presence of DOLE representative Med-Arbiter Estrella Rosal, collapsed.
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Legal Activists Target of Esperon’s Dirty War

The umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan today scored Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff Gen. Hermogenes Esperon for setting the stage for more extrajudicial killings and abductions of activists. “When Gen. Esperon says the next 100 days will be bloody, he’s not only referring to the war with New People’s Army. The AFP counter insurgency program has been known to target unarmed activists. Oplan Bantay Laya 1 and 2 have been the overarching program responsible for the death and disappearances of hundred of activists since 2001,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

“With Esperon’s declaration of war, we should be ready for more human rights abuses. We should all remember that it was Esperon who was in a constant state of denial regarding the role of the AFP in the killings. As such, there can be no accountability among officials under his watch,” Reyes said.

Bayan also believes that the declaration of all out war is meant to unify a fractured AFP. “Esperon knows that there is disgruntlement within the AFP because of his term extension. The decision of Mrs. Arroyo to extend Esperon’s term is bound to cause division among the officers. The declaration of war is meant to rally and unify the AFP against a common enemy,” Reyes said.

“Esperon is desperate to unite the AFP. He knows the dire consequences of his term extension,” the Bayan leader added.

Reyes said that there have been renewed cases of extrajudicial killings in the island of Eastern Visayas, particularly in Leyte. Killed in January were a former rebel and a Protestant pastor from the United Church of Christ in the Philippines.

Bayan also cited the cases of escalating militarization in provinces like Quezon and in areas in Mindanao wherein civilians are being forced to flee because of combat operations.

“The next 100 days will be bloody according to Gen. Esperon. Unfortunately, those who will be worst hit are the civilians. They are usually the first casualties of war under Oplan Bantay Laya 1 and 2,” Reyes added.

"However, human rights defenders will fight these abuses using all available legal venues," he added.

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The Promises of EDSA

After two People Power uprisings, how far have we gone in the struggle for good governance, for democracy, and for a better life and future?
 
BY BENJIE OLIVEROS
ANALYSIS
Bulatlat
Vol. VII, No. 49, January 20-26, 2008

EDSA 2 is about the struggle for good governance and the rejection of a corrupt government. It is also about removing a president Joseph Estrada who failed to deliver on the promise that his administration would uplift the Filipino people, especially the masses, from poverty and the hardships brought about by the Asian financial crisis of 1997. Last but not the least, it is about democracy: about a people exercising their sovereign right to remove a government that it deems is not working for the people’s interests, rights, and welfare.
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Informal Exploratory Talks can Lead to Formal Peace Talks If Arroyo Regime Complies with Prior GRP-NDFP Agreements

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
 
If it really wants to resume formal peace talks, the Arroyo regime must comply with the prior agreements between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and do away with all the impediments that violate said agreements and prevent peace talks. Informal exploratory talks in Oslo can thus lead to formal peace talks.
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Arroyo Regime Refuses to Heed Call for Peace Negotiations Without Pre-Conditions

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant
National Democratic Front of the Philippines

It is lamentable that the Arroyo regime has refused to heed the call of the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform (PEPP) for the resumption of formal talks in the peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), without preconditions and in accordance with prior agreements from The Hague Joint Declaration of 1992 to the Oslo Joint Statements of 2004.

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Students Say CHEd’s Tuition Policy Biased for “Capitalist-Educators”

The League of Filipino Students (LFS) today said that the Commision on Higher Education's (CHEd) current tuition policy favors "profit-greedy school owners" and is "biased against students and parents." CHEd, with the approval of Malacanang, recently reversed its policy of imposing a cap on tuition increases and re-implemented CHEd Memorandum Order 13, which outlined the guidelines on tuition increases which the Commission has started implementing in 1998.
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