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The War Against the People: US Scholars Denounce Killings and Calls for a World-Wide Actio

by CFFSC Monday, Apr. 04, 2005 at 2:42 PM

Northampton, MA - The Critical Filipina and Filipino Studies Collective (CFFSC) condemns the growing spate of killings and human rights violations of political activists, peasant rights advocates and sympathizers, lawyers and priests in the Philippines. The Philippine military is targeting and murdering leftist activists and civilians under the pretense of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo regime’s “War on Terror.” The U.S.-backed Arroyo regime’s campaign of surveillance, abduction, torture, and execution is a campaign of terror against the Filipino people.

The War Against the People: Scholars Denounce Killings in the Philippines and Calls for a World-Wide Action

Statement of the Critical Filipina and Filipino Studies Collective
Contact: cffsc@focusnow.org
March 28, 2005

Northampton, MA - The Critical Filipina and Filipino Studies Collective (CFFSC) condemns the growing spate of killings and human rights violations of political activists, peasant rights advocates and sympathizers, lawyers and priests in the Philippines. The Philippine military is targeting and murdering leftist activists and civilians under the pretense of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo regime’s “War on Terror.” The U.S.-backed Arroyo regime’s campaign of surveillance, abduction, torture, and execution is a campaign of terror against the Filipino people.

International and Filipino human rights groups have documented that since 2001, forty-nine activists have been killed or otherwise brutalized by the Philippine military or paramilitary. On March 7, 2005, unidentified gunmen attempted to assassinate Romeo T. Capulong, UN Ad Litem Judge and a human rights lawyer who served as counsel to striking farm workers at Hacienda Luisita, a large sugar estate owned by the family of former President Corazon Aquino in the province of Tarlac. The attempt on Judge Capulong’s life follows the infamous massacre at Hacienda Luisita. Last November 16, 2004, the Philippine military and police attacked striking peasant workers, killing seven and wounding many. Since then, death squads have killed supporters of the peasant farmers: Abelardo Ladera, a city councilor; William Tadena, a priest; and Marcelino Beltran, a peasant leader and key witness to the November massacre. Five more have been abducted and believed dead.

In deep sympathy and solidarity with the progressive individuals and organizations, such as Bayan Muna, BAYAN, ANAKPAWIS, and GABRIELA, who continue to be targeted by such militarist brutality, the CFFSC strongly deplore the unbridled state tyranny exercised by the Philippine government to silence any and all manner of dissent and resistance against its political and economic policies, which have reduced Filipinos to unprecedented levels of poverty and suffering. We denounce the support of the Arroyo regime by the imperialist George Bush administration, which continues to deploy U.S. troops in the Philippines to train Philippine paramilitary forces to infiltrate and destroy progressive Filipino organizations and ordinary civilian activism. We censure the Bush/GMA administration’s false accusations against anti-imperialist activism as “terrorism” and progressive insurgent activists as “terrorists.” This strategy masks a deceptive and wholly undemocratic campaign to coerce the Philippine people and the peoples of the world into justifying and condoning the brutal military suppression of the legal and collective right to organize against injustice and exploitation.

We also decry global-U.S. “War on Terrorism” which provides both legitimation and financial and military support for the Arroyo regime’s domestic war against its own citizens. The global “War on Terrorism” is itself globalization by other means, a globalization of crony capitalism and the military-industrial complex. It is a global project seeking to destroy entire communities for the purposes of creating new sites of investment and profit and new opportunities for the aggrandizement of unlimited power and wealth for the few.

It is vitally important for the progressive international community, which finds cause to protest the U.S.-led war against and occupation of Iraq as the hallmark of a new imperialism, to also show solidarity with Filipino human rights activists and mass leaders, whose terrible fates under the Philippine Republic show the disastrous consequences of a “democracy” under the sponsorship of a globalizing U.S. military-corporate state acting at the behalf of transnational capital and national elite interests.

We must view the flagrant atrocities committed by the Philippine state against its citizens; the civil tyranny and repression insidiously exercised against vocal critics of Empire in U.S. universities (such as Ward Churchill at the University of Colorado and many Middle Eastern studies professors at Columbia University such as Hamid Dabashi, Joseph Massad, Lila Abu-Lughod and others); and the undeclared suspension of the writ of habeas corpus and the flouting of the Geneva Conventions in the case of suspected enemies of the U.S. State detained in Guantánamo Bay and other sites of “extraordinary rendition”(subcontracted torture in foreign territories), as all instances of a world-wide escalation in the use of coercion and unmitigated violence, including political assassinations and torture. If we do not connect these disparate instances of repression and violence as parts of a trend in global tyranny, our hopes for a better and more just world will remain divided and unrealizable. And the alliances forged between state, military and corporate powers under the auspices of the imperial project of global security will continue to go unchallenged.

We therefore appeal to concerned Filipinos everywhere and progressive citizens of the world community to:

• demand that local and national authorities put an end to these killings and to hold the Philippine state accountable for the relentless persecution and murder of Filipino activists, critics and journalists
• call for an invigorated global anti-imperialist movement that recognizes the everyday conditions of violence, dispossession and repression produced by crony capitalism and military-industrial complex
• organize local fora, start solidarity organizations to raise consciousness and build support for the Philippine progressive movement
• Envision and make real global justice, self-determination (rather than the dictates of the elite or global multinational corporations), and human dignity for all.

Signed,
THE CRITICAL FILIPINA AND FILIPINO STUDIES COLLECTIVE

1. Nerissa S. Balce
Assistant Professor
Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

2. Lucy Mae San Pablo Burns
UC President's Postdoctoral Fellow
Department of History of Consciousness
University of California, Santa Cruz

3. Richard T. Chu
Assistant Professor
Department of History
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

4. Peter Chua
Assistant Professor
Department of Sociology
San Jose State University, CA

5. Vernadette V. Gonzalez
Assistant Professor
Department of Global Studies
Saint Lawrence University, NY

6. Gladys Nubla
Doctoral student
Department of English
University of California, Berkeley

7. Robyn M. Rodriguez
Assistant Professor
Department of Sociology
Rutgers University, NJ

8. Joanne Rondilla
Doctoral student
Department of Comparative Ethnic Studies
University of California, Berkeley

9. Jeff Santa Ana
Assistant Professor
English Department
Dartmouth College, NH (Commencing fall semester 2005)

10. Rowena Tomaneng
Associate Professor
English Department
De Anza Community College, CA

11. Luis Francia
Journalist, Village Voice and Philippine Inquirer
Author and Lecturer, Asian Pacific American Studies
Program
New York University, NY

12. Dylan Rodriguez
Assistant Professor
Department of Ethnic Studies
University of California, Riverside

13. Ronald R. Sundstrom
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
University of San Francisco, CA

14. Neferti X. Tadiar
Associate Professor
History of Consciousness Department
University of California, Santa Cruz

15. Benito Vergara Jr.
Assistant Professor
Asian American Studies Department
San Francisco State University, CA

For additional information on human rights abuses by the Philippine state:
http://www.geocities.com/arkibo21/mass/lentenmass4jph.htm

http://portal.unesco.org/en/ev.phpURL_ID=26425&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html

Amnesty International: http://asiapacific.amnesty.org/apro/aproweb.nsf/pages/index
http://asiapacific.amnesty.org/apro/aproweb.nsf/pages/appeals_philippines_ASA350012005

Asian Pacific Mission for Migrants: www.apimigrants.org

To find more on information on collaborating with or joining local and national efforts to support progressive and anti-imperialist movements in the Philippines and the U.S:

In the Philippines: Bayan Muna: http://www.bayanmuna.net/
GABRIELA: http://www.gabrielaphilippines.net/index1.htm

In the U.S.: BAYAN USA: statement: http://www.indybay.org/news/2005/03/1728977.php
Critical Filipino and Filipina Studies Collective: http://www.cffsc.focusnow.org

To send letters of protest and contact Philippine government officials:
Ms. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
President
Republic of the Philippines
Malacañang Palace
J.P. Laurel St., San Miguel
Manila, NCR 1005
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2929 3968

Ms. Purificacion Quisumbing
Commissioner
Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman, Quezon City
PHILIPPINES
Tel. No. +63 2 928-5655/926-6188
Fax: +63 2 929-0102
Email: drpvq@chr.gov.ph

Sec. Teresita Quintos-Deles
OPAPP (office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process)
Government Peace Negotiating Panel for Talks with the CPP-NPA-NDF
4th Flr. Agustin 1 Bldg. Emerald Ave. Ortigas Center
Pasig City, Philippines
Telefax: +63 2 6377259
Email: gpnp_cnn@opapp.gov.ph

Mr. Avelino J. Cruz Jr.
Secretary, Department of National Defense
Room 301 DND Bldg.,
Camp Emilio Aguinaldo
E. de los Santos Avenue, Quezon City
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2911 6213
Email: osnd@philonline.com
P/DEP. DIR Gen. Arturo Lumibao
Chief, Philippine National Police (PNP)
Camp Crame, Quezon City
PHILIPPINES
Tel: +63 2 726-4361/4366/8763
Fax: +63 2 724-8763

Atty. Jasmin N. Regino
Regional Director
Commission on Human Rights (CHR III)
3/F, Kehyeng Bldg.,
Mc Arthur Highway, Dolores
San Fernando, Pampanga
Philippines
Tel: +63 45 961 4830/ 963 5311
Telefax: +63 45 961 4475
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