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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 9:42 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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