Philippines - Release all political prisoners! : SELDA

15 June 2016

Victims of human rights violations and kin:

WE ARE citizens who have experienced human rights violations since the Marcos dictatorship until the departing Noynoy Aquino administration.  We know what persecution, torture, deprivation of liberty, forced separation from family, and isolation from society mean. We are former political prisoners who have survived to tell our stories.
Today, we are joined by kith and kin, other victims of rights violations, and justice advocates, to urge the release of all political prisoners who have been enduring injustice and suffering state brutality because they fought a war against slavery and poverty, elitism and greed, subservience to foreign interests, and unfreedom.
They must all be freed.
Today, as we press for the release of 509 political prisoners languishing in jails all over the country, we are encouraged by the declaration and intention of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to do so. We are completely behind him to right what all the past presidents did wrong.

Releasing all political prisoners, especially the 18 consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, will absolutely create a positive climate for the resumption of the peace talks.  There is no way that granting freedom to citizens who have been wrongfully arrested, jailed, and slapped with trumped-up charges will not encourage peace. This much-awaited milestone act of statesmanship by the President-elect, once realized, will what shall initiate closure to many instances of injustice.
Together with the freed political prisoners and all our families and organizations, we stand foursquare behind the peace process in search of solutions to the root causes of the war that has long raged in our country.

We warn the diehards of the withering Noynoy Aquino regime and all saboteurs not to sow intrigues, not to redtag, and not to disrupt and derail the release of political prisoners and the success of the peace negotiations.

We, the people, shall overcome!

The Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA) is an organization of former political prisoners in the Philippines. Founded on December 4, 1984, SELDA was initiated by newly-released political prisoners of the martial law period.  SELDA’s primary task is to work for the release of all political prisoners and to see to it that humane treatment of those who are still in detention are complied with by the Philippine authorities.  SELDA advocates justice for current and former political prisoners.  It calls for the mobilisation of resources in support of political prisoners, former detainees and their families.  It carries out legislative advocacy for the indemnification and rehabilitation of political prisoners. SELDA goes into partnership and builds solidarity with concerned individuals and groups for the freedom and welfare of political prisoners and all victims of tyranny. 

SELDA National Office: 2/F, Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin corner Matatag Streets, 
Brgy. Central District, Diliman, Quezon City 1101, Philippines
Tel: 632-9906595 Fax: 632-4354146 


De retour des Philippines! Rapport sur le mouvement anti-impérialiste

Leila Khaled du Palestine avec les manifestant-e-s anti-APEC aux Philippines
Vendredi, 1er avril, 2016: 18h00 à 20h30
Centre des travailleuses et travailleurs immigrant-e-s (CTI-IWC)
4755 rue Van Horne, Bureau 110, Montréal, Québec H3W 1H8 (Métro Plamondon)

Entrée libre: léger goûter et traduction vers l'anglais et le français
Amenez vos ami-e-s (et une chandelle!)

Témoignages de deux déléguées à la conférence de la plus grande organisation anti-impérialiste et démocratique du genre au monde: la Ligue internationale de lutte des peuples, LILP-ILPS.

Louisa Worrell du Centre des travailleurs et travailleuses immigrant-e-s (CTI-IWC), et Inti Barrios des Femmes de diverses origines (FDO-WDO) et du Bloc d'artiste présenteront leurs expériences.

La conférence, qui a eu lieu en novembre 2015 à Manille aux Philippines, a fait parti d'une plus grande mobilisation internationale visant à exposer et bloquer la réunion impérialiste de la Coopération économique en Asie pacifique (APEC). Le chef de l'impérialisme canadienne, Justin Trudeau, était présent a la rencontre de Manille, parmi une vingtaine de chefs d'état.

SUR FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/events/1697915117134495/

Louisa et Inti parleront aussi de leur expérience au sein des organisations populaires sur l'île de Negros suivant la conférence.

Tout anti-impérialiste est bienvenu-e-s! LILP au Québec invite particulierement ses organisations-membres et les allié-e-s pour partager leur luttes dans la perspective de collaboration et de l'élargissement du réseau anti-impérialiste au Québec et au-delà.

Amenez une chandelle pour une activité à la fin de la soirée!

Un léger goûter sera offert. L'entrée est gratuit, mais nous ne refuseront aucun don. Traduction chuchotée vers l'anglais et le français.

Malcolm Guy
-- coordinateur par interim au Centre d'appui aux Philippines (CAP-CPC), organisation membre de l'ILPS

Back from the Philippines! Report on the global anti-imperialist movement

Leila Khaled from Palestine joins anti-APEC demontrators in Manila, Philippines.
Leila Khaled was a keynote speaker at the 5th International Assembly
of the International League of Peoples' Struggle (ILPS)

Friday, April 1, 2016, 6pm - 8:30pm
Immigrant Workers Centre (CTI-IWC)
4755 Van Horne, Suite 110, Montreal, Quebec H3W 1H8

Free event, snacks and translation provided
Bring your friends (and candles)!

Join us for first-hand reports from Montreal delegates who took part in an international conference in the Philippines of the world's largest anti-imperialist and democratic formation of it's kind.

The evening will feature Louisa Worrell, organiser from the Immigrant Workers Centre* (CTI-IWC), and Inti Barrios from Women of Diverse Origins* (FDO-WDO) and the Bloc d'Artiste.

They will speak about their experience at the 5th International Assembly of the International League of Peoples' Struggle (ILPS) held in November in Manila, Philippines. The conference took place in the context of an international mobilization to expose and oppose the meeting in Manila of the imperialist-led Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). Justin Trudeau attended APEC as the representative of Canadian imperialism.

Let us know you're going -- Facebook invite: https://www.facebook.com/events/1697915117134495/

Louisa and Inti will also talk about their post-Assembly exposure trip with sugar worker communities on the island of Negros.

All progressives and anti-imperialists are welcome! ILPS in Quebec extends a special invitation to member organizations and friends to share about their struggles. We can thus work together to advance and widen the anti-imperialist circle in Quebec and beyond.

Please bring candles for an anti-imperialist solidarity action at the end of the event!

French-English translation and snacks will be provided. Free event, donations welcome.

-- Malcolm Guy (interim coordinator of the Centre for Philippine Concerns (CAP-CPC), a member organization of the ILPS)

* member organizations of the ILPS


Paramilitary group massacres 3 in Lumad School in Surigao Sur

01 September 2015

To His Excellency Benigno Simeon Aquino III

RE:  School executive, IP leader and a civilian killed
Paramilitary group massacres 3 in Lumad School in Surigao Sur
Date of incident: 01 September 2015
Place of incident: Lianga, Surigao del Sur

Mr. President,

The Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights (CPSHR) joins the Filipino human rights defenders, educators, people’s organizations  and international rights  groups in strongly condemning the barbaric and inhuman act of killing  of Emerito Samarca, executive director of Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV), a self-initiated school for the Lumad. He was found dead on September 1, with a stab wound inside one of the classrooms in the school compound in Han-ayan, Lianga, Surigao del Sur.

Also killed in Km. 16, some three kilometres from Han-ayan, were  Dionel Campos, chairperson of Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang sa Sumusunod (MAPASU) and his cousin, Bello Sinzo. The two were shot by members of the Magahat/Bagani force in the presence of their community members in Km. 16.

According to the report we received from KARAPATAN, two days prior to the killing, the Magahat/Bagani Force and elements of the 36th IB encamped at the ALCADEV school compound and occupied the function hall and parts of the school grounds. During the encampment, the Magahat group threatened the school faculty members, staff and community members that they will massacre the community if the people will not leave in two days.

On August 31, the MAGAHAT group burned down the community cooperative store of MAPASU while indiscriminately firing around the community.  Emerito Samarca, according to the report was held and detained by some armed members of Magahat before he was killed.  He was last seen tied around the neck, his hands and feet were also tied. He was brought to one of the classrooms.

On the evening of August 31, the ALCADEV faculty and most of the residents in Han-ayan went to Km. 16 for safety.  At around 4 a.m., Magahat Forces went from house to house in Km. 16 and ordered the residents to get out of their houses and go to the center of the community. That was when Campos and Sinzo were met by a volley of gunfire from brothers Loloy and Bobby Tejero of the Magahat/Bagani Force.

Magahat members also confiscated all cellphones and cameras from the residents and ALCADEV staff and remaining visitors in the community.

According to KARAPATAN, the Bagani paramilitary and the 36th IB has long been accusing self-help Lumad school ALCADEV as NPA school, killing the teachers and organizers in the community, consequently depriving the Lumad of their education.

Mr. President, as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, we ask that you order an immediate pull-out of the 36th Infantry Battalion in Lumad communities in Lianga, Surigao del Sur and the dismantling of paramilitary groups in this dirty war against the Filipino people.

We further urge your administration:

1.        The immediate formation of an independent fact-finding and investigation team composed of representatives from human rights groups, the Church, local government, and the Commission on Human Rights to look into these incidents of human rights violations; and, to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators.
2.        To observe the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all the major Human Rights instruments that the Philippine government is a party and signatory to.

Finally we call on your administration and all its institutions to uphold the basic human rights of the citizens whom you have sworn to serve.

The Canada Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights

Copy furnished:
1.       Ret. Lt. Gen. Voltaire T. Gazmin
Secretary, Department of National Defense
Room 301 DND Building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo,
E. de los Santos Avenue, Quezon City
Voice:+63(2) 911-9281 / 911-0488
Fax:+63(2) 911 6213
Email: osnd@philonline.com

2.       Atty. Leila De Lima
Secretary, Department of Justice
Padre Faura St., Manila, Philippines
Direct Line 521-1908
Trunkline  523-84-81 loc.211/214
Fax: (+632) 523-9548
Email:  lmdelima@doj.gov.ph, lmdelima.doj@gmail.com, lmdelima.doj2@gmail.com

3.       Hon. Jose Luis Martin Gascon
Chairperson, Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., UP Complex
Commonwealth Avenue
Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
Voice: (+632) 928-5655, (+632) 926-6188
Fax: (+632) 929 0102
E-mail: comsec@chr.gov.ph


Les gouvernements philippin, américain violent les droits du people philippin: Tribunal

29 juillet 2015

Pour diffusion immédiate

Les gouvernements philippin, américain violent les droits du people philippin: Tribunal
Des Montréalais se rassemblent jeudi le 30 juillet 2015 afin de faire le point

Montréal —Un tribunal international à Washington, DC, a émis un jugement reconnaissant la responsabilité des gouvernements actuels des Philippines et des États-Unis dans un large éventail de violations de droits de la personne à l’encontre du peuple philippin.

La délégation montréalaise qui s’est rendue à Washington à titre d’observateurs tiendra un forum public sous forme de BBQ-potluck/levée de fonds jeudi afin de discuter des conclusions du tribunal.

Le Tribunal international des peuples, qui a siégé dans la capitale américaine du 16 au 18 juillet, a entendu les témoignages de 32 victimes, témoignages qui ont révélé toute l’étendue de la violence, des expropriations forcées et de la répression politique auxquelles font face les Philippins.

Un jury international a jugé le 18 juillet que les gouvernements des Philippines et des États-Unis sont coupables de violations graves et systématiques des droits humains, notamment les droits civils et politiques, économiques et socio-culturels et le droit du peuple philippin à l’auto-détermination. Il s’agit d’un « tribunal de conscience », et le jugement n’est donc pas juridiquement contraignant, mais les organisateurs affirment que sa force est à la fois politique et morale.

Le verdict du TIP est émis après deux jours de témoignages, dont plusieurs provenaient des victimes mêmes de ces abus. Ils ont décrit avec force détails leurs expériences de torture, d’arrestation arbitraire et du meurtre d’être chers.

Ces crimes ont été commis par l’armée et la police philippines ainsi que par des forces paramilitaires agissant sous l’égide du programme anti-insurrectionnel du gouvernement, dénommé Oplan Bayanihan, utilisé comme prétexte pour réprimer de mouvements pour la paix et la justice sociale, selon le tribunal.

Le tribunal a également conclu que les États-Unis avaient participé à ces violations par le biais de leurs subventions à l’armée philippine, des interventions directes de leurs troupes et par l’imposition de politiques accentuant la pauvreté, l’exploitation et la dégradation environnementale aux Philippines.

La délégation montréalaise comportait des étudiants, immigrants, écrivains et activistes qui feront part de leurs observations jeudi soir et discuteront des façons dont la population montréalaise peut appuyer la lutte pour le respect des droits de la personne aux Philippines.

Détails de l’évènement:

6:00-9:00 PM, le jeudi 30 juillet
4709 The Boulevard, Westmount
Page Facebook de l’évènement: https://www.facebook.com/events/1427795717550829/

Le jugement intégral du Tribunal et des informations additionnelles sont disponibles en ligne: internationalpeoplestribunal.org

Centre for Philippine Concerns

Contact: David Koch

+1 514-966-7604 / davidgkoch@gmail.com

Philippine, U.S. govts violate rights of Filipino people: Tribunal

29 July 2015

For immediate release

Philippine, U.S. govts violate rights of Filipino people: Tribunal
Montrealers to gather Thursday, July 30, 2015 for report-back

Montreal — An international tribunal in Washington, DC, has ruled that the current governments of the Philippines and the United States are responsible for a wide range of human rights violations against the Philippine people. 

A delegation from Montreal that attended the tribunal as observers will be hosting a public meeting and fundraising BBQ-potluck on Thursday evening to discuss the findings.

The International Peoples’ Tribunal (IPT), which took place in the US capital from July 16–18, heard from 32 witnesses whose testimonies revealed the extent of violence, displacement and political repression being experienced by the Philippine people.

An international panel of jurors ruled on 18 July that the governments of the Philippines and the United States are guilty of gross and systematic violations of human rights, including civil and political rights; economic, social and cultural rights; and the right to national self-determination. A “tribunal of conscience,” the ruling is legally non-binding, but organizers say its force is both political and moral.

The IPT’s verdict came after two full days of testimonies, many by those who had experienced these violations directly. They described in vivid detail their experiences of torture, arbitrary arrest, and the assassination of loved ones.

These crimes were committed by Philippine military, police, and paramilitary forces that use the government’s counter-insurgency program, known as Oplan Bayanihan, to justify the suppression of movements for social justice, the tribunal found.

The tribunal also ruled that the United States has participated in these violations through its aid to the Philippine military, direct intervention in the Philippines by US troops, and the imposition of policies contributing to poverty, exploitation, and environmental destruction in the Philippines.

The Montreal delegation included students, migrants, writers and activists who will be sharing their observations Thursday evening and discussing how people in Montreal can support the struggle for human rights in the Philippines.

Event details:

6:00-9:00 PM, Thursday 30 July
4709 The Boulevard, Westmount, Québec
Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1427795717550829/

The IPT’s ruling and other information can be found at: internationalpeoplestribunal.org

Centre for Philippine Concerns

Contact: David Koch

+1 514-966-7604 / davidgkoch@gmail.com


Desaparecidos to Pope: Disappearances destroyed our families

Press Release: January 19, 2015

"Enforced disappearances have destroyed our families, the very foundation of a society and church. Children are left motherless or fatherless," Lorena Santos, secretary general of Families of Desaparecidos for Justice said upon hearing Pope Francis' speech at Malacañang and in his meeting with representatives of Filipino families.

Lorena Santos
Lorena P. Santos, secretary general - Desaparecidos
"The remaining members of the family had to seek refuge away from their way home to secure their lives. We live in fear and in constant threat," Santos said. "In this way, dear Pope, we feel only violence, cruelty and further inequality," Santos continued.

"Our pain and suffering in search for our disappeared loved ones have been too long. But the consequences of enforced disappearance in the communities and the society leave a deeper scar that frightens, and even silence anyone who thinks of voicing out for the poor," Santos said. "This is what our missing loved ones did, serve the poor and became their voice. This is why they were abducted and disappeared," Santos continued.

"With your call to our government leaders for “moral imperative of ensuring social justice and respect for human dignity' we, families of desaparecidos find in our hearts the need to enjoin you in our quest for justice," Santos asked the “People's Pope”.

"We have written you letters to ask for your help. We hope these letters will reach you," Santos said. "Our missing loved ones deserve justice. Their children and the younger generations need to be assured that crimes against humanity should not go with impunity," Santos said. "We don’t want our children and the youth to continue to live a life of injustice and inequality, " Santos added.

"We ask you dear Pope, to call on to stop enforced disappearances in the Philippines and in other countries. Again, be with us in our quest for justice to all victims of human rights violations," Santos said.

"Our missing loved ones believed and worked for a just society, free from the bondage of inequality. Like you, we believe that this is what 'heaven on earth' means. Like you, we want to build this society for our children," Santos concluded. ###

Reference: Lorena P. Santos, secretary general - Desaparecidos