Justice for Melissa Roxas website launched

Dear Friends:

We are pleased to announce the official launch of the Justice for Melissa Roxas Website, sponsored by the Justice for Melissa Roxas Campaign. Melissa is the Fil-Am who was recently abducted and tortured by the Philippine military, along with two companions.

Please visit www.justiceformelissa.org for news and information on Melissa's fight for justice and learn how you can help support the campaign!


In solidarity,

Bernadette Ellorin


"People's SONA": National day of action in Canada July 26

View photos and details of very successful People's SONA events held in Vancouver, Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal (see above photo) on Bayan Canada blog at http://byncan.wordpress.com/

This is the original invitation to the events in Toronto and Montreal:

Everyone is invited to participate in a national day of action in Canada on Sunday, July 26, 2009 to protest against another possible dictatorship in the Philippines.

When: Sunday, July 26, 2009 @ 3PM to 5PM
Where: Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church (2565 Bathurst St, Toronto)
Please contact Diwa Marcelino 416-809-3492 for more information.

Organized in Toronto by Migrante-Ontario member organizations http://www.migrante.ca :
Filipino Migrant Workers Movement; AWARE; Philippine Advocacy Through Arts and Culture (PATAC); Damayan Migrant Education and Resource Center; Migrante Youth; Migrant Workers and Family Resource Center - Hamilton; Pilipinong Migrante sa Canada (PMSC) - Ottawa; Pilipinong Migrante sa Barrie (PMB) - Barrie

When: Sunday, July 26, 2009 @ 4PM to 5PM
Where: Van Horne Park (Beside Shadd Academy) – corner Van Horne and Lemieux **assembly Corner of Victoria (Plamondon Metro)

Organized by Bayan Canada and Migrante Quebec organizing committee and supported by Centre for Philippine Concerns and members of IMA-Canada.

This action, complete with street theatre, will protest the anti-people and pro-imperialist Charter Change by the government of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

It is held on the occasion of the 9th, and what should be the last, State of the Nation Address (SONA) by President Arroyo to be held in the Philippines, Monday, July 27, 2009.

Her address comes amidst renewed efforts to change the Constitution and the form of Government of the Philippines to permit Arroyo to stay in power, and in the midst of a serious world economic crisis.

Listen to live broadcast of SONA events in Philippines (remember time difference!) on Bulatlat.com: http://www.facebook.com/ext/share.php?sid=105740503562&h=6MNWZ&u=hXMXZ&ref=nf


Manitoba statement on the Global Day of Action against Open-pit Mining

The following statement by Bayan Canada organizations in Winnipeg, Manitoba was read out during a rally for the global day of action against open-pit mining on July 22, 2009 in Toronto, Canada

Statement on the Global Day of Action against Open-pit Mining

22 July 2009

Warm greetings from Damayan Manitoba and Bayan Manitoba Organizing Committee!

Since the enactment of the Republic Act 7942, or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, large-scale operations by transnational mining corporations (mining TNCs) have proliferated all over the country. These mining TNCs slowly cover the whole archipelago with their mining projects and plunder the country’s mineral resources in order to rake in billions of dollars in profit.

The Philippines is considered to be “potentially the world's fifth-biggest mineral producer in the world”, with around 24 medium to large-scale metallic mines operations all over the country. (Photo by Alex Felipe reveals environmental destruction caused by Canadian-owned Marcopper on Marinduque Island. More at Alex's excellent website - http://alexfelipe.com/tag/mining/)

As of January 2008, there were 294 mining agreements in existence, consisting of two Financial and Technical Assistance Agreements (FTAAs), 262 Mineral Production Sharing Agreements (MPSA) and 30 Exploration Permits (EP).

Among the giant foreign mining companies in the Philippines who rake in millions of dollar of profit every year are Canadian-owned companies. One of these is the Canadian-owned mining firm TVI Pacific Inc., who reportedly gained 67.3% increase in income in the first quarter of 2007.

As we celebrate the “Global Day of Action against Open-pit Mining”, Damayan Manitoba and Bayan Manitoba Organizing Committee join all other progressive groups and individuals who are involved in anti-imperialist mining campaigns and human rights and environmental defense struggles throughout the world.

We urge the Philippine government to scrap the Philippine Mining Act of 1995, cancel the mining applications and revoke the mining permits of big capitalist corporations, both foreign and local.

We denounce the Supreme Court’s reversal of its own decision on the constitutionality of provisions in the Mining Act of 1995 regarding Financial or Technical Assistance Agreements (FTAA) between foreign mining corporations and the state.

We demand that these big foreign and local mining companies should be held liable for the severe environmental degradation and should indemnify all affected communities who are suffering from the long-term effects of pollution and contamination.

We strongly denounce the intensified mining operations, militarization and human rights violations targeting mining-affected communities and anti-mining activists in the Philippines and around the world.

We call for an end to all bombings and shelling, the firing of cannons within communities, illegal searches of houses, and the use by the military of schools, medical, religious and other public places, as well as private residences, and other human rights violations committed by government troops in the said areas.

We assert that the natural resources of the country should be used for the well being of the people, not for the profit of foreign capitalists and their local partners within and outside the government.

We affirm our stand that capitalist mining will not solve the country’s financial crisis and will not result in improved human development among the people.

We enjoin everyone to remain vigilant in guarding and defending our lands, and that we will employ all possible means to prevent the destruction of our territories by large capitalist mining.

Scrap the Philippine Mining Act of 1995!
Stop the liberalization of the Philippine mining industry!
Defend the land and patrimony of the people against imperialist mining!
Assert the genuine recognition of the indigenous peoples collective rights over their land and resources, and to self determination!
Stop militarization and the violation of human rights!

Jomay Amora-Mercado, member, 204-509-2491


FilAm activist to testify in Philippines about her abduction by AFP

(INQUIRER.net) MANILA, Philippines, July 19, 2009 — The Filipino American activist who has accused the military of abducting her a couple of months ago is set to arrive in the Philippines on Monday evening, July 20, 2009, to pursue her case here, the Commission on Human Rights said today.

In a press statement, the rights body said it would take protective custody of Melissa Roxas upon her return from the United States.

“We will do everything we can to keep Ms. Roxas safe. At the same time, however, this demonstrates that there is a need to overhaul the witness protection program in the Philippines,” said CHR chairperson Leila De Lima.

“It is vital that the survivors of human rights violations are protected. Their safety and well-being must be safeguarded so that they can be allowed to tell their stories, and shed light on the true situation in the Philippines today,” she added.

Roxas is coming back to the country to attend the next hearing on her petition for a writ of amparo before the Court of Appeals. She is also scheduled to testify before the commission on July 23 about her alleged abduction and torture.

More at FilAm activist to return to RP Monday - INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos


Philippine Solidarity Network - Canada: message on death of "Ka Wilson"

Montreal, July 3, 2009 -- We are very saddened to hear of the death of a strong fighter for the Philippine and international working class, Comrade Wilson "Ka Wilson" Baldonaza, on July 1, 2009.

It is especially sad for those of us from Canada lucky to have spent time with Ka Wilson at this year's International Solidarity Affair held in Tagaytay as well as marching with him through the streets of Manila during the inspiring torch-lit May First rally.

We remember him as someone who was quiet and unassuming, but strong in his determination and solid in his desire to struggle for the fundamental rights and liberation of workers and the people, wherever they may be.

From thousands of miles away we send our sympathies to his wife, Lily, and to his friends, family and comrades at this difficult time. We realize this is a huge loss particularly for the KMU and the working people of the Philippines.

But we draw strength from Ka Wilson's memory and commit to raise our struggle against capitalism, imperialism and local reaction to a higher level and to help build a world in which all workers and peoples have the right to live their life to the fullest.

Ka Wilson is dead! Long live Ka Wilson!
Long live international solidarity!

Philippine Solidarity Network - Canada (Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Victoria)
International League of Peoples' Struggle - Canada

(message from the CAP-CPC sent to the KMU on July 3, 2009)


“Ka Wilson” Baldonaza, Secretary General of KMU, dies July 1, 2009

Dear friends and comrades,

It is with great sadness and grief that we inform you of the death of Comrade Wilson “Ka Wilson” Baldonaza, Secretary General of KMU, at 2:15am on July 1, 2009. He was 57. He is survived by his wife, Lily.

Since June 6, 2009, he has been confined at the Acute Stroke Unit of the Manila Central University Hospital after suffering a second stroke arising from high-blood and complications from heart, lungs, liver and kidney problems. Since then, he has been sustained by a respirator.

Ka Wilson started his political involvement as a member of a militant youth organization prior to the declaration of Martial Law in 1972. He later worked as a security guard at the Manila Domestic Airport and then at the Mabuhay Textile Mills as quality control personnel. In 1985, he became vice-president and subsequently president of the workers union at Mabuhay Textile Mills in 1985 and led successful strikes for workers’ rights. He then served as secretary-general of the Valenzuela chapter of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN), the umbrella organization of nationalist organizations, from 1987 to 1990.

In the years that followed, he became an educator and a project evaluator at the Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER). In 2000, he decided to go back to full-time work in organizing workers’ unions under the Alliance of Nationalist and Genuine Labor Organizations (ANGLO), a KMU federation, and was elected as its president in 2002.

He was elected Secretary General of KMU at its 9th Congress in 2007. His life is an exemplary example of dedication and commitment to serving the working class and people. Up to his death, he carried the Filipino people and the working class worldwide in his heart.

We celebrate a life lived to the fullest, even as we mourn his demise. He will be forever etched in the hearts of the Filipino masses and all those whom he pledged to serve up to his last breath.

His remains temporarily lie at the Ambassador Funeral Homes in Mabini St., C-3, Caloocan City. He will be transferred July 2, 2009 at another place to accommodate the many friends and comrades who want to pay their last respect. Ka Wilson is set to be buried on July 5. Details will be announced later. (Please check www.kilusangmayouno.org for updates)

Tribute as follows:
July 2 - ANGLO-KMU
July 3 - BAYAN
July 4 – KMU and Anakpawis Party List

For those who may wish to send messages of sympathy, please send them to kilusangmayouno@gmail.com and kmu.intl@gmail.com. Your messages will be be read at the KMU tribute on July 4. It will also be compiled and given to Ka Wilson’s family. (Please find attached Ka Wilson’s biography for your reference).

For those who wish to send donations, you can still do so thru the following methods:

a) thru bank (in US$ account)

Account Holder: Ma. Teresa Dioquino and Norma Binas
Account Number: 0274-0768-52
Name of Bank: Bank of the Philippine Islands
Address: Timog Branch, Quezon City, Philippines

b) thru Western Union, Xoom payment and door-to-door delivery


63 Narra St. Proj. 3 Quezon City, Philippines
Telephone Number: (632) 4210986

Once again, thank you for your sympathy and solidarity.

Ka Wilson is dead! Long live Ka Wilson!
Long live the struggle for national and social liberation!

In solidarity,
Tess Dioquino
KMU International Department



Wilson Fronda Baldonaza was born on August 26, 1953 in Victoria, Tarlac. He was the second of five children by Mr. Lino Baldonaza and Mrs. Francesca Fronda (both deceased). He studied at Victoria Elementary School, and at Victoria High School where he graduated with honors in 1970.

After high school, he went to Manila to pursue his college studies. He enrolled at the University of the East (UE) and took up Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering (BSCE). But he was not able to finish his college degree due to poverty.


As early as college, he already got involved in activism. He became a member of the Samahan ng Demokratikong Kabataan (SDK). It was the height of student activism and struggle against the dictatorship of Marcos that time. When Marcos declared Martial Law on Sept. 21, 1972, all schools in Manila were virtually closed. All organizations were also banned. Ka Wilson decided to go back to the province and helped organize the community youth in their place.

When the political situation regained some signs of “normalcy” in 1975, he went back to Manila to look for a job so he can pursue his schooling. He first became a worker when he got a job as a security guard at the Manila Domestic Airport.

But this job did not last long. He applied in Mabuhay Textile Mills in Valenzuela, Metro Manila in 1977 and was admitted as Quality Control. While working, he enrolled again in UE. However, the pressure of time between job and school had taken its toll on his health. So, he has to give up his schooling after a year and continued with his work.

In 1980, the workers in Mabuhay Textile formed their union and Ka Wilson became a member. Ka Wilson was active in the union, taking up trade union courses, engaging in political and economic discourse, participating in protest actions and strikes.

Union leader and labor educator

At the height of the Marcos dictatorship in the 80’s, the union experinced greater harassments. Their union presidentwas forced to resign and to go underground. The vice president took over and Ka Wilson was elected as vice president in 1985. However, the new president was recruited ofr full-time work in their labor federation. Ka Wilson took over as the new union president.

In 1986, the union, under the administration and guidance of Ka Wilson, went on strike over the management’s violations of their collective bargaining agreement (CBA). The strike went on for six months. In the picketline, Wilson experienced all sorts of intimidation and harassment from the police and the management. Almost monthly, the management through the local police attempted to break the picketline. But the workers stood their ground.

When the strike was settled, Wilson decided to go full-time in union organizing in the area. In 1987, because of his experiences in the union, he was elected Secretary General of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN, New Patriotic Alliance) – Valenzuela chapter. BAYAN is the umbrella group of national democratic organizations in the Philippines. He remained Secretary General up to 1990.

Ka Wilson applied for a job at the Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER) in 1991. He became an educator for Genuine Trade Unionism and other courses and later became a Project Evaluator of the institution’s Daop-Palad project until 1997. He stayed in EILER for nine years.

In 2000, he decided to go full-time trade union organizer again, this time in Kilusang Mayo Uno. He worked as an organizer in ANGLO, a member-federation of KMU. During that time, ANGLO was experiencing corruption problems committed by some incorrigible elements in the federation’s leadership. Wilson led a group of trade unionists and leaders to fight against these labor aristocrat and corrupt leaders. They succeeded in ousting them from the federation. Eventually, due to his sincerity in serving the interest of the workers, he was elected president of ANGLO-KMU in 2002 and holds the post until at present.

National and international proletarian leadership

Because of his good record in the trade union movement, he was elected Secretary General of KMU during its 9th National Congress in April 2007. He led the workers’ fight on a national scope, overseed different departments of the national labor center, and helped in the expansion and consolidation of KMU unions and federations.

As a labor leader, Ka Wilson was keen to the details of his work – in planning and substantiating data for his speeches, for example. He vigorously carried out his tasks in the labor movement, a reason for him to be called a “workaholic” by his comrades and friends. He did not let his health problems prevent him from serving the workers and people’s interests.

Ka Wilson also studied and taught progressive ideas diligently. Many of his comrades remember him as the person who is always updated on the latest events around the globe. He visited Australia and Europe once in an effort to explain the situation of workers and workers’ movement in the Philippines, particularly under the US-Arroyo regime.

During his last years, Ka Wilson was one of those who initiated a comprehensive analysis of the state-sponsored attacks against the labor movement in the country. Many comrades admired his optimism for the workers’ struggle in the future. Even if the labor movement suffers from serious attacks, Ka Wilson believes that it will triumph in liberating the workers and people from oppression.