[News] `Stop the killing of Philippine activists'

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Thu Jun 23 08:59:25 EDT 2005


Workers World - June 30, 2005 issue
http://www.workers.org/2005/world/philippines-0630/


`Stop the killing of Philippine activists'

by Bill Cecil

The Bush regime and the U.S. military are backing a wholesale terror
campaign against the people of the Philippines. That was the message
of an Emergency Conference on Human Rights in the Philippines held in
New York June 16.

The supposedly democratic administration of Philippines President
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has carried out more human-rights violations
than any previous Philippine government--including the fascist
dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos--according to Berna Ellorin of BAYAN
USA. She had just returned from two months in the Philippines.

This year alone, 39 members of the mass organizations BAYAN and
BAYAN-MUNA have been murdered by military-backed death squads. Slides
showed the faces of labor organizers, priests and others who have been
killed.

The Philippine military is armed, trained and funded by the Pentagon.
U.S. Special Forces are operating in the country. In the past four
years human-rights organizations have documented violations against
198,398 individuals, 18,977 families and 123 communities. The Arroyo
regime also holds 238 political prisoners.

Ellorin and other speakers talked about the history of U.S.
intervention in the Philippines, the Philippine people's struggle and
the BAYAN movement. Exposés of corruption and massive electoral fraud
have now discredited Arroyo's government, and BAYAN is leading a
campaign for her resignation with a perspective to oust her if she
refuses to step down.

The meeting ended with an appeal for international support for BAYAN's
call: "End undeclared martial law! Stop the killing of political
activists."

A Philippine Solidarity Committee in the U.S. is now being created.

The conference was organized by BAYAN USA, the youth organization
ANAKBAYAN and the New York Committee for Human Rights in the
Philippines. The program also included a popular poem in Tagalog by
Philippine laureate and labor organizer Amado V. Hernandez. It was
read by Gary Labad of the New York Committee for Human Rights in the
Philippines and accompanied by a dance interpretation by NYCHRP member
Donna Mae Santos. The program closed with the singing of the
Philippine patriotic song "Bayan Ko."




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