Court Orders GMA, AFP and PNP to Surface James Balao

by the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance

The Petition for the Writ of Amparo for James Balao was granted last January 19, 2009. The decision penned by Judge Benigno Galacgac of the Regional Trial Court-Branch 63 in La Trinidad, Benguet found President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the State institutions responsible for the enforced disappearance of James Balao and compelled them to surface James. It also cites that President Arroyo is rightfully named as a respondent in the petition as Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philipines (AFP) and can be held accountable for cases of human rights violations.

The state policy (Operation Plan Bantay Laya) tagging members and leaders of progressive people’s organizations as enemies of the state was noted and thus, validates our claims that James was taken by the agents of the State and is not a victim of “purge” as the AFP and Philippine National Police officials claim.

The Cordillera Human Rights Alliance (CHRA) welcomes the strong premises acknowledged by the court on the circumstances of James’ enforced disappearance.

Read more see: Cordillera Human Rights Alliance - Court Orders GMA, AFP and PNP to Surface James Balao


Cooking up revolutionary storms in the East

International recipes for supporting national liberation movements of oppressed peoples and nations

A Meet the Neighbours! Brown Bag Lunch Seminar
on Community Education, Research, Knowledge Production and Social Change
with Joey Calugay, Centre for Philippine Concerns

When: 12pm, Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Where: Room 434, Education Building, 3700 McTavish, McGill University, Montreal

For several generations up until today’s movement to oust the bloody US-backed Arroyo regime, international solidarity has played a major role in the Philippine people's struggle for genuine freedom and democracy. The Filipino diaspora have contributed to the building of solidarity organizations such as Solidaridad in the late 1800s started by Filipino students in Europe calling for an end to Spanish colonialism in the Philippines. Today, the Centre for Philippine Concerns - founded in the 1980s in Quebec by a university professor forced to flee the Marcos dictatorship - continues this long tradition of solidarity work for the Philippines.

Joey Calugay, an independent filmmaker and community organizer, is a long time member of the Centre for Philippine Concerns. He will talk about the role of international solidarity and the important task of the organizer as public educator in relation to the current issues facing the people's movement in the Philippines. This series of informal brown bag lunch seminars aims to make connections, join dots, spark debate and reflection, as we hear from community educators, organizers and independent media practitioners about the education, research and action components of their practice. Faculty, graduate and undergraduate students are all welcome to attend. (Bring a friend from another department or outside of the university altogether!)

For more information, please contact Dr. Aziz Choudry, Assistant Professor, International Education, Department of Integrated Studies in Education, McGill University. Phone: +1514 398-2253 or email: aziz.choudry[at]mcgill.ca


CAP-CPC demands an end to the Israeli massacre in Gaza

Montréal, Québec (1-1-09) -- The Centre d’appui aux Philippines / Center for Philippine Concerns (CAP-CPC) condemns in no uncertain terms the Israeli regime for its barbaric act of massacre against the people in Gaza. The CAP-CPC joins millions in demanding an immediate end to this crime against humanity.

The massacre in the last few days has resulted in three people killed and 14 wounded each hour. And there is no plan to stop the killing but instead the Israeli military forces armed with US weapons are being amassed along the walled borders ready for the signal to go into the Gaza for re-occupation and carnage. This is totally unacceptable. The United States has encouraged the Israeli regime to continue its aggression and President-elect Barack Obama has maintained a deafening silence. The Canadian government has tacitly approved of this action by its refusal to condemn the Israeli aggression. Once again the war on terror is being used in order to perpetrate genocide on people who have been cornered and walled in for the last three generations.

The CAP-CPC sends this message to all peace-loving Israelis: STOP your Zionist regime from committing continued acts of outright murder against the people in the Gaza. Let not your hands and the generations to come be soiled with the blood of old people, men, women, youth, children and infants because of the Israeli government.

It is utter hypocrisy for both the US and Israel to put the blame on Palestine and the Palestinian people for the ongoing large-scale crimes of aggression and oppression committed by Israel against them and for the impending Israeli invasion. This is not a war against Hamas, the elected government in Gaza, but a well-coordinated war of annihilation against the Palestinian people.

The current call of Israel for all-out war reminds us all of the Israeli aggression against Lebanon in recent times and how far Israel can go in committing crimes against humanity with complete impunity with the encouragement and support of the US imperialists and the acquiescence of the other imperialist powers like Canada.

The CAP-CPC stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle for national salvation and independence and for the defence of all their human and democratic rights against the onslaughts of the US-backed Israeli aggressors. We join the Palestinian and Arab people and the entire humankind in condemning the US-supported crimes of aggression of Israel and in demanding that the Israeli regime stop its all-out war in Gaza.

There can only be peace in Palestine if it is accompanied by justice and an end to 60 years of occupation and exploitation. The Palestinian people have the full right to resist and struggle for their liberation from oppression.The CAP-CPC also supports the call for a comprehensive campaign of boycott, sanctions and divestment against Israel. Such a campaign eventually helped bring down a similar apartheid regime in South Africa.

-- HR Desk of the Centre d'appui aux Philippines / Centre for Philippine Concerns (CAP-CPC

The Centre d’appui aux Philippines / Center for Philippine Concerns is an organization of Filipinos and non-Filipinos in Montreal, Canada. It advocates for the promotion of and respect for human rights in the Philippines and around the globe and supports the people's struggles for fundamental social, political and economic rights.