by Joyce Valbuena
member of the Centre d’appui aux Philippines / Centre for Philippine Concerns
In the Philippines, we have no political prisoners… that is according to a statement by the Presidential spokesperson in my country. Because what the government is doing is criminalizing political actions.
But as far as human rights activists are concerned, there are about 360 political prisoners in the Philippines, 77 of whom, were arrested and detained under the administration of President Noynoy Aquino. Human rights violations have continued unabated. Between July 2010 and October 2011 there have already been 64 extrajudicial killings and 9 enforced disappearances. Human rights groups have monitored thousands and thousands of victims of demolitions, forced evacuations, threats, harassment, intimidation and physical assaults, and other military abuses in the communities since Aquino was elected as President 18 months ago.
Interesting to say, President Aquino’s famous father, Ninoy, was martyred during the Marcos dictatorship as an exiled political prisoner in the 1970s and 80s.
His name is Ericson Acosta, an artist, journalist and cultural worker illegally arrested by members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines on February 13, 2011 in Samar province which is in the South of the Philippines. He faces trumped-up charges of illegal possession of explosives and is currently detained at the Calbayog City sub-provincial jail.
He was interrogated for at least eight hours non-stop. Up to this day, he is being detained without any formal charges issued by the court.
Ericson's counsel filed a Petition for Review of his case before the Philippine government's Department of Justice last September 1. It stated several irregularities and human rights violations in Ericson's arrest and detention including arrest without warrant. He was not informed of the reason for his arrest at the time of his arrest. He was denied the right to counsel and make phone call or contact his family or his lawyer. He was subjected to prolonged interrogation for 44 hours. He was physically and psychologically tortured during tactical interrogation. He was deprived of sleep, threatened, intimidated, coerced and forced to admit membership in the New People's Army (the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines). The grenade that was "confiscated" from him was planted. He was detained in a military camp, which is not of civilian jurisdiction.
Freedom for All Political Prisoners!
Stop Criminalization of Dissent!
Marking International Human Rights Day Saturday December 10, 2011
On Saturday, December 10, join us to share stories of struggle of political prisoners
from Palestine to the Philippines and beyond.
Also : Enjoy a new political satire skit from Pinay and friends
PNoyed : A Filipino Christmas Carol
Where: St James United Church, 463 St Catherine West
(metro McGill) entrance 1440 St-Alexandre St.
When: 1pm –3 :30pm for panel and skit
3 :30pm – 4 :30pm vigil and march ending at the U.S. consulate
Speakers on the Philippines, Egypt, Palestine, Latin America, and the United States.
Whisper translation will be provided.
Coffee will be served.
Organized/Endorsed: by Centre for Philippine Concerns, Pinay, Women of Diverse Origins Network,
Immigrant Workers Centre, Certain Days Political Prisoners Calendar, Tadamon, PASC
Liberté pour les prisonnier-ières politiques!
Fin à la criminalisation de la contestation!
Pour marquer la Journée internationale des Droits humains
Samedi, le 10 décembre, 2011.
Samedi le 10 décembre, venez nous joindre pour partager des histoires de résistance
des prisonnierEs politiques, de Palestine aux Philippines et ailleurs.
Aussi, le nouveau sketch satirique :
PNoyed : A Filipino Christmas Carol par le group Pinay et ses ami-e-s
Où: St James United Church, 463 Ste-Catherine Ouest
(métro McGill)entrée 1440 St-Alexandre
Quand: 1pm – 3h30pm panel et sketch;
3h30pm – 4h30pm vigile et marche au Consulat américain
Les panélistes parleront des Philippines, d'Égypte, de Palestine, d'Amérique Latine et des États-Unis.
Traduction chuchotée sera disponible.
Café sera servi.
Organisé/Appuyé par le Centre d’appui aux Philippines, Pinay, Réseau des Femmes de Diverses Origines, Centre des Travailleurs-euses ImmigrantEs, Calendrier des Prisonniers Politiques Certain Days, Tadamon, PASC
Ottawa, Canada (Tuesday, November 22, 2011) -- A delegation of solidarity and human rights activists from Montreal and Ottawa delivered a letter demanding an end to impunity to the Philippine Embassy today addressed to President Benigno Aquino III.
November 23 is the second anniversary of the infamous Ampatuan massacre during which 58 people, including 32 journalists, were killed on the island of Mindanao while on their way to register a candidate for the Philippine election. To date the major perpetrators of the crime have managed to avoid their day in court and impunity reigns.
The delegation represented various organizations under Bayan Canada, the Stop the Killings network, independent journalists, human rights activists, unions and church groups. Delegates met with First Secretary and Consul, Flerida Ann Camille P. Mayo, to hand in the letter and to discuss their concerns, namely to ensure that former President Gloria Arroyo is also brought to justice concerning with her role in the various political killings and enforced disappearances that occurred during Arroyo's administration.
The delegation raised the fact that the political killings continue unabated under the current administration of President Aquino, with Fr Fausto Tentorio being among the latest victims. The group also raised issue with the formation of mining militias to protect destructive mining operations, including Canadian mining companies. They said that they will not accept any human rights violations perpetrated against the Filipino people in the name of protecting Canadian or other foreign mining companies operating in the Philippines.
For their part, Consul Mayo attempted to assure us that all legal avenues were being made to ensure that Arroyo was brought to justice and defended the actions of the Aquino administration to arrest her before she fled the country as a risk undertaken in "contempt of the Supreme Court". The delegation countered that although the arrest of Arroyo was a step in the right direction, the international community continues to stay vigilant and wants to ensure that Arroyo and other human rights violators do not evade justice by using their political influence.
David Koch, an independent journalist, raised his concern that the Philippines is one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists, citing the 32 journalists who were killed in the "Ampatuan massacre".
When Consul Mayo challenged the delegates to come out with any recent journalists who have been victims of political killings and they raised the fact that one of the latest victims is an Italian priest who was also an indigenous rights and anti-mining activist in Mindanao.
The delegates also cited the more than 55 political killings and eightenforced disappearances under the present government. Consul Mayo ensured us that they will make sure that our message and the letter will be delivered to the President.
The consul then opened a discussion about the registrations for the Overseas Absentee Voting and the conditions of Filipino migrant workers in Canada, positively citing several Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) between Manila and various provinces in Canada (including Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba).
The consul proudly announced that the Philippines is now the number one supplier of migrant workers to Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Migrante Canada members including PINAY and the Philippine Migrant Society of Canada responded by raising issues about the treatment of Filipino migrants in Canada and asked about the efforts of the Embassy and the consulates to ensure that migrant rights are protected.
The Consul asked the group to send her some points of concern so that she can discuss it with the Embassy and in discussion with Minister Jason Kenny when they meet for consultations around migrant workers. Consul Mayo then invited the Consul responsible for migrants to join the end of the discussion.
Nous invitons tous les membres du CAP/CPC et des organisations affiliées à nous joindre pour la première séance, qui portera sur la Guerre Hispano-Américaine de 1898. M. Antonio Artuso présentera cet événement historique de l'impérialisme.
Soyez des nôtres
vendredi, le 11 novembre de 18h30 à 20h30
au CTI, 4755 av. Van Horne, Suite 110, Montréal. (Métro Plamondon)
We are glad to announce that CPC will start to have a regular discussion meeting in order for us all to be refreshed and be updated about certain past and present issues concerning the Philippines that have impact on our ongoing struggles and solidarity work.
We are inviting members of CPC and allied organisations to join the first session which will focus on the Spanish-American war of 1898. Mr. Antonio Artuso will be the resource speaker as we go back to this important history event of imperialism.
This will be held on
Friday,November 11 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm
at the IWC Centre, 4755 Van Horne Ave., Suite 110, Montreal, H3W 1J1. (Plamondon Metro).
SAMEDI, 15 Octobre
Au SQUARE VICTORIA - Près du métro Square Victoria, Montréal, Québec, Canada
In solidarity with Occupy Wall Street actions in the Philippines and worldwide
SATURDAY, October 15
SQUARE VICTORIA - Near métro Square Victoria, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
En solidaridad con "Occupy Wall Street " acciones en el mundo entero
SABADO 15 de octubre
La manifestación empieza al MEDIO DIA
en el SQUARE VICTORIA - cerca de la estación de metro Square Victoria, Montreal, Quebec, Canadá
Invitation: ILPS-Canada, CAP-CPC, Bayan-Canada
-- ILPS-Bayan-CAP contingent à rencontrer au coin de Square Victoria & Saint-Jacques, juste à l'extérieur de la sortie du Métro Square Victoria
-- ILPS-Bayan-CPC contingent to meet on the corner of rue Square Victoria & Saint-Jacques, just outside the Square Victoria Metro exit
Join us for an afternoon of cultural events, ceremonies, information-sharing, celebration and food.
The new film, Deadline - The Reign of Impunity, is inspired by the deadly Amapatuan massacre, in which dozens of journalists along with civilians were murdered in November 2009. Deadline will be presented with English subtitles.
DEADLINE - THE REIGN OF IMPUNITY
Regards sur les cinémas du monde
2011 / Couleur / 105 min
Réalisateur : Joel Lamangan Scénariste : Bonifacio P. Llagan
Photographie : Monino S. Duque Montage : John Anthony L Wong
Interprètes : Luis Alandy, Tirso Cruz III, Allen Dizon, Ina Feleo, Lovi Poe, Tj Trinidad
Thriller politique inspiré du massacre de Maguindanao en 2009 où 32 journalistes ont péri. L'assassinat de Henry Rosales, infatigable reporter du Philippine Sentinel, s'ajoute à une longue série qui vaut aux Philippines la réputation d'être l'un des pays les plus dangereux pour les représentants des médias. Il s'avère que le gouverneur Muntazir Ghazi (Gob) a échafaudé ce plan en représailles aux enquêtes de Rosales sur les assassinats de journalistes et le règne des seigneurs de la guerre, dont Gob lui-même, qui a formé son armée privée avec le soutien du gouvernement. À la suite de cet assassinat, la conférence de presse organisée par le Syndicat se termine en véritable bain de sang.
Joel C. Lamangan a étudié le cinéma et l'art dramatique aux Philippines et à l'étranger. Il travaille d'abord comme acteur pour la scène et la télévision, avant d'opter pour la réalisation avec un premier film, DARNA, en 1991. Parmi ses autres films, dont plusieurs ont été primés aux Philippines, mentionnons FLOR CONTEMPLACION STORY(1995), DEATH ROW (2000), DUKOT ( 2009) et SIGWA ( 2010), ces deux derniers présentés au FFM.
25 août 2011 • 19:00:00 • CINÉMA QUARTIER LATIN 16 • L16.25.4 • s.t.a.
26 août 2011 • 12:20:00 • CINÉMA QUARTIER LATIN 16 • L16.26.2 • s.t.a.
27 août 2011 • 16:30:00 • CINÉMA QUARTIER LATIN 16 • L16.27.4 • s.t.a.
28 août 2011 • 18:40:00 • CINÉMA QUARTIER LATIN 16 • L16.28.4 • s.t.a.
James Moy Balao is founding member of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance and a member of the Ibaloi and Kankanaey indigenous peoples in the Philippines. His works include researches on indigenous peoples’ collective right to ancestral land and self-determination. He is also the President of the Oclupan Clan in Benguet province in the Cordillera region, Philippines.
He was abducted on September 17, 2008 at La Trinidad, Benguet by State security forces under the Operation Plan Bantay Laya (Freedom Watch) of the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) regime. He has not been surfaced to this day.
James’ family, colleagues, human rights groups and advocates have launched sustained campaign to search for him – in many military camps, police facilities and public institutions.
How can you help? By calling, writing, faxing, e-mailing the Philippine embassy in Ottawa to demand the surfacing of James Moy Balao:
Address: 130 Albert St. Suite 900, Ottawa ON K1P 5G4
Tel. Nos.: +1 613-2331121
Fax No.: +1 613-2334165
The ‘Surface James Balao Campaign’ received broad support in the Cordillera region and from the national and international communities as well. The Writ of Amparo was granted by the local court in early 2009, compelling the military and security forces to give information with regards to the abduction of James.
However, inspite of all these efforts, James has not been brought back to his family and colleagues. His parents, Arthur and Jane Balao passed away last year without seeing their son.
June 12, 2011 marks James’ 1,000th day of enforced disappearance, which also takes place under the new administration of President Benigno Aquino III. With the continuing political persecution of legal people’s organizations, the change of administration has not translated to a change of policy in human rights, as Operation Plan (Oplan) Bayanihan commenced under this new regime.
We persist in the search for James. His family, colleagues, the indigenous peoples that he serves and many human rights advocates across the globe, will mark the 1,000 days of James disappearance with thousands of postcards and signed petitions addressed to President Aquino.
The thousands of voices for justice will call on Philippine President Aquino to immediately order the military to surface James Balao and prosecute the perpetrators of his abduction. We also demand for a concrete action to surface all Desaparecidos.
Cordillera Peoples Alliance & Cordillera Human Rights Alliance
The International Migrants Alliance (IMA) congratulates domestic workers organizations, migrants groups and advocates for the rights of migrant workers who have advocated for the passing of an international instrument that can be used for the further advancement of domestic workers rights. Despite attempts by some governments, particularly of the European Union, to water down key provisions, the ILO Committee on Domestic Workers adopted the Convention on Domestic Workers that constituted a big step towards its passing.
Among migrant workers, an overwhelming number are in the domestic work sector. The frequent global crisis has pushed more and more people especially women to domestic work as socio-economic and political problems in migrant-sending countries escalate. Meanwhile, the labour market in migrant-importing countries has contracted to the point where migrant workers are relegated to the 3D jobs dirty, difficult and dangerous that include domestic work.
As domestic workers, migrants experience some of the worst kind of exploitation and abuse. Severely underpaid, overworked and discriminated in all spheres, domestic workers labour rights are routinely violated with impunity. They suffer from extreme physical, mental and sexual abuse, and even brutal deaths.
Labour laws were not made to cover domestic workers. Most are in live-in employment arrangement that keeps abuse and exploitation hidden from the public. The right to file grievances and seek redress is also denied from domestic workers not only because they are excluded from national labour laws but also due to other barriers such as insecurity of livelihood and lack of access to legal services that should be provided both by the sending and receiving governments of migrant workers.
Organizations of foreign domestic workers have been consistently struggling against policies and practices that impinge on the rights of domestic workers. National movements of migrants in different countries have worked to painstakingly build the solid strength of migrants to resist anti-migrants and anti-women laws like the wage campaign in Hong Kong, the struggle against the anti-migrant provisions of the Live-in Caregiver Program in Canada, the campaign against abuses in the Middle East, resistance against the exploitation of the au pair system in Europe, and many other issues.
In the regional level, the IMA recognizes the work of formations such as the United for Foreign Domestic Workers Rights (UFDWRs) a network of leading grassroots migrants organizations and NGOs who have been calling to have domestic work recognized as work even before the ILO started exploring the possibility of an ILO agreement on domestic work.
But the work is not yet over. Recommendations that will be included in the final instrument are now being discussed. The adopted convention with recommendations must still be passed in the plenary of the International Labour Conference one week from now. If approved, the migrants movement must utilize the ILO Convention on Domestic Work to further push the advocacy for the rights of domestic workers especially in the national level.
Agreements on migrant workers rights have been present for years but still, national governments routinely ignore provisions of these conventions and disregard their principles. National governments must be pushed to revise or create policies that will be in accordance with the convention. The convention must not suffer the fate of the implementation of previous instruments that are violated and ignored.
In this regard, the strength of the grassroots migrants' movement is, more than ever, needed.
As the grassroots movement, both of local domestic workers and foreign domestic workers, plays a crucial role in the advocacy for the convention, so will this movement play a key part in its implementation. Organizing, educating and mobilizing domestic workers must continue to genuinely change the condition of exploitation and oppression of domestic workers.
As the global formation of grassroots migrants with more than 130 member organizations in 26 countries, the IMA shall continue to struggle for the rights and wellbeing of domestic workers. The struggle will not let up for as long as commodification and modern-day slavery of migrants persists, there is every reason for migrants to fight.
Members and networks of the International Migrants Alliance are currently in Geneva, Switzerland for the 100th Session of the International Labour Conference such as the Filipino Migrant Workers Union (FMWU-HK), MIGRANTE-Canada, and CARAM-Asia.For reference: Eni Lestari
Chairperson, International Migrants Alliance
Tel. No.: 96081475
first indigenous General Secretary of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP)
When: Wednesday, June 1, 2011; 5 pm - 9 pm
Where: Beaconsfield United Church, 202 Woodside Road, Beaconsfield, Québec H9W 2P1 (off Sherbrooke)
The Centre d'appui aux Philippines - Centre for Philippine Concerns (CAP-CPC) invites you to meet Reverend Rex Reyes* at a dinner hosted by Beaconsfield United Church and the CAP-CPC.
The evening, which will be held at Beaconsfield United Church (202 Woodside Road, in Beaconsfield off Sherbrooke) on Wednesday, June 1st from 5:00 - 9:00pm, will include a pasta supper, cultural presentations and a public forum.
Padi Rex, as he is fondly called by his kakailian (townmates), comes to visit and update us on the human rights situation in the Philippines.
While in Canada Fr. Rex will be address the Montreal/Ottawa Annual Conference Assembly of the United Church; attend an event hosted by First United Church in Ottawa: meet with Members of Parliament; and visit local organizations such as Mine Watch Canada, as we work together to mobilize our Canadian leaders into action addressing the Human Rights Violations that continue in the Philippines.
This is our chance to hear Fr. Rex's stories and give him a warm welcome to Montreal.
For further details and to find out how you can help with this important Social Justice work, please contact
The Reverend Shaun Fryday : (514) 695-0600 or by email at email@example.com (BUC)
Tony DeJesus at firstname.lastname@example.org ; Fr. Art Calaycay at email@example.com (CAP-CPC)
*The Reverend Father Rex Reyes is an Igorot Priest from Sagada, Mountain Province. He belongs to the Episcopal Church of the Philippines and is the first indigenous General Secretary of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP), a fellowship of 10 church denominations and 10 service organizations. The Episcopal Church and the Philippine Independent Church are members of the NCCP.
Montréal, Québec -- This year's Cordillera Day coincides with the Roman Catholic Church's Easter Sunday. Held each year on April 24th, Cordillera Day is a cultural celebration of the struggles of the indigenous people in the Cordillera region of northern Philippines.
Here in Montreal, Cordillera Day has been celebrated for decades. This year's event was organized by the Centre for Philippine Concerns (Centre d'appui aux Philippines), Migrante Quebec, and Bayan Canada. Dr. Chandu Claver, Chairperson of Bayan Canada, presented a recorded message of solidarity.
The theme of the celebration was "Live out our glorious history of struggle; fight for life, land and honour."
The occasion started with a special Easter Mass by Rev. Fr. Artemio Calaycay with the choir singing Ang Bayan Ko. In his homily, Fr. Calaycay shared his thoughts about peace. He said that the biblical concept of peace is not just the absence of war, conflict or chaos but the "lifting up" of the sorry state of an individual or of the community. He explained, "The Philippine government should continue working for lasting peace as the Filipino people are already tired or systemic corruption, or rising cost of basic commodities, and of human rights violations."
The celebration also included a Skype conference with Luis Jalandoni and Coni Ledesma of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). Jalandoni shared updates on the peace talk negotiations between the National Democratic Front (NDF) and Philippine government. Jalandoni said that the Aquino regime continue to exhibit unpeaceable attitudes and actions which has already victimized labor leaders, peasant and social activists and intensified the militarization of civilian communities in the rural areas. The NDF also celebrates its 38th founding anniversary of the revolutionary alliance on April 24.
To heighten the spirit of the Easter celebration, the native American drumming and singing group called ODAYA rendered a contemporary performance. The group is composed of women from different tribes of Canada whose mission is to share the joy and beauties of Indigenous cultures.
There were also cultural presentations by the Cordillera cultural group, PINAY and the children of Filipino Parents Support Group.
Founded in 1982, the Centre for Philippine Concerns is composed of Filipinos and non-Filipinos in Montreal, Quebec supporting the Filipino people's movement for National Democracy through advocacy and public education. The organization is also aligned with Bayan-Canada, Migrante-Canada and the International League of People's Struggles.
Migrante-Quebec is composed of different organizations. PINAY, a Filipino Women's Organization, works to empower and organize Filipino women in Quebec, particularly Filipino domestic workers. Most of its members are migrant workers under the Live-In Caregiver Program (LCP). For two decades Pinay has brought together domestic workers and their supporters together in the struggle for basic rights and welfare.
Other members are the Filipino Parents Support Group, Filipino Workers Support Group, Aklan Association of Montreal and the Cordillera Organizing Group.
And just like in many other Filipino celebrations, Pinoy foods, such as arroz caldo and pancit, were served after the Mass and cultural performances.
Contributed by Joyce Valbuena
We are sharing with you the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance statement on the 50th birthday of James Balao, a victim of enforced disappearance since September 17, 2008. We continue to call for his surfacing and freedom to this day.
Deputy Secretary General
Cordillera Human Rights Alliance
CORDILLERA HUMAN RIGHTS ALLIANCE
Statement on the 50th Birthday of James Balao:
SURFACE JAMES BALAO!
STOP ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCES!
“Happy 50th birthday James. Wherever you may be, we keep the hope that you are still alive. We want you to know that we love you and we’re waiting for you to come home. You’ve turned 50 today and we, Nonette, Winston, the whole family and your friends miss you so much.
To the State, the military and its agents, stop enforced disappearances. We want our loved ones brought back to us.“
- Joni Balao, youngest sister of James Balao
Today, April 19, James Balao’s 50th birthday marks the 942nd day when he was abducted by five heavily armed members of the State security forces in Tomay, La Trinidad.
Since that day of his enforced disappearance, we have joined his family, friends and colleagues in the search for him. Not a day has passed that we do not remember him and call on the State for his surfacing and freedom.
We do so especially now that more light has been shed on the enforced disappearance of Jonas Burgos. A month ago, the Commission on Human Rights investigation led by Commissioner Jose Mamauag stated in its report that the abduction and enforced disappearance of Jonas is “not a simple case of kidnapping done by some individuals within the military, but is, in fact, a part of the entire counter-insurgency program of the past administration wherein both military and police forces played a crucial role in its enforcement.”
James like Jonas became a victim of enforced disappearance because of his political beliefs and service to the people. The Cordillera Peoples Alliance, of which James is a founding member has been unjustly labeled by the State as a sectoral front of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), New Peoples Army (NPA) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and thus has been among the targets of the State security forces in the implementation of Operation Plan Bantay Laya (Operation Plan Freedomwatch). There have been 205 cases of enforced disappearances under the Arroyo regime, all marked with impunity as no perpetrator has been held accountable to date.
The tagging of members and leaders of people’s organizations as sectoral fronts of revolutionary organizations continue to this day under President Benigno Aquino III’s Operation Plan Bayanihan which is patterned after the United States Counter-insurgency Guide. Since July, there have already been 5 cases of enforced disappearances.
We strongly assert that this policy has to be immediately abandoned by the government if it were sincere in upholding and respecting the rights of the people. Aquino has to pay heed to the call of the people for the delivery of justice.
We call on the Aquino government to surface James Balao, and other victims of enforced disappearance and see to it that the perpetrators of human rights violations, including former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo are brought to the bars of justice.
James has always been steadfast in the defense and assertion of human rights. The search for him, 942 days after his enforced disappearance is arduous but we will not cease. We owe it to him, his family and the people he served to continue the search, hold the State accountable, seek for justice and build a society where no one will be taken from one's family because of one's principles and service to the people.#
Tel: +63 918 919-9007, +63 999 681-1128
-- cordillera human rights alliance
55 ferguson road, baguio city, philippines
telefax: +63. 74. 443. 7159
telephone: +63 74 304 4239cp: +63 918 919 9007
Please sign the petition (see link below) to Stop the Harassment of Cordillera Health Workers in the Philippines. Petition forwarded by CAP-CPC member Rev. Shaun E. Fryday.
+ = + = +
We, the undersigned call on Philippine President Benigno Simeon Aquino III to effect an immediate, independent, transparent and thorough investigation on the harassment of staff and volunteers of Community Health Education, Services and Training in the Cordillera Region (CHESTCORE) of the Philippines. http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/stopharassmentofhealthworkers/
Where: 6767 Cote-des-Neiges (6th floor), Montréal, Québec
An Easter event/mass featuring cultural celebrations in honour of Cordillera Day, held each year on April 24th to celebrate the struggles of the indigenous people in the Cordillera region of northern Philippines.
The event will include a SKYPE video messages from Dr Chandu Claver, Chairperson of Bayan Canada.
Keynote speakers, also via SKYPE, will be Luis J. Jalandoni and Coni Ledesma of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), which is engaged in Peace Talks with the Government of the Philippines (GPH). Jalandoni is Chairperson of the NDFP Negotiating Panel and Ledesma is a member of the NDFP Panel who has just returned from the Philippines. The NDFP will be celebrating its 38th anniversary on April 24th.
She and her companion Nilo Arado were brazenly abducted by armed men on the evening of April 12, 2007 on a public road on the outskirts of the city of Iloilo, Philippines; another companion was shot in the neck and left for dead. The perpetrators have never been found.
We saw first hand during our visits to Iloilo as documentary filmmakers how impunity works, how public officials take no responsibility for crimes like this that happen under their watch. The climate of impunity surrounding Luing’s disappearance, and that of hundreds of others, reigns to this day.
As long-time friends of the Filipino people, we join thousands around the world in demanding that this impunity end, that those responsible for the abductions of Luing, Nilo, and the disappearances and assassinations of so many others be brought to justice.
Luing was not an everyday friend. We saw her sparingly, every few years. She is among our cherished community of inspiring people, present, reliable, totally and tirelessly committed: to her people, her family, to social justice, and a better world. Luing is a person we are proud to know and even if she cannot be there in person, her daughters, friends, comrades and the countless people she touched are continuing and multiplying her efforts and her work.
April 12 is also the birthday of my own mother, Clara. She died in 1986, too young, at only 56. She lived in a different context, her commitments were closer to home, to family and friends. She is also sorely missed and continues to live through us who knew and loved her.
Marie Boti and Malcolm Guy
Montréal, Québec, April 12, 2011
With sheer determination in their faces, six of the Morong 43* who filed a civil suit against Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo**, et al said that the cases they filed last April 4, 2011 is their contribution to end the culture of impunity in the Philippines.
“My colleagues and I are utterly unfazed by what Col. Baladad and Col. Parlade are rattling in the media. They should do better than to recycle old arguments that we are members of the NPA (New People's Army, an armed opposition group -- ed.). Our message is clear and strong, human rights violators must be made accountable for their crimes,” Gary Liberal, R.N., one of the plaintiffs said.
Liberal added that Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the top military officials named in their complaint are delusional for thinking they can get away with their crimes. “We enjoin all victims of human rights violations under the Arroyo administration to file a case and pursue justice.”
He ended that Macapagal-Arroyo and her cohorts should brace themselves for more lawsuits from their victims. “This is our contribution to end impunity in this country,” Liberal said.
Reference (April 11, 2011): Carlos Montemayor, RN - +63 922 499-6237 / (+632) 929-8109
* the name given to 43 Filipino health care workers illegally arrested and imprisoned for several months by the Philippine military
** former President of the Philippines
CAP-CPC members and friends are invited by Rev. Shaun Fryday for a time of discussion and reflection on peace in the Middle East with Reverend Chris Ferguson, former representative of the United Church (UC) and the World Council of Churches at the United Nations. Exchange will involve KAIROS document inviting dialogue between all religious traditions seeking peaceful settlement in Palestine and the position of the UC of Canada on the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory.
When: Saturday, April 9, 2011
Time: 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Where: Beaconsfield United Church, 201 Woodside Road (off Sherbrooke), Beaconsfield, Québec
for more information: BUC office - 514-695-0600; e-mail - bu1[at]bellnet.ca
2. Rally to protest the war in Libya and Afghanistan
When: Saturday, April 9, 2011
Time: 12:30 pm to 3:00 pm
Where: Président-Kennedy and de Bleury (Métro Place des Arts), Montréal, Québec
organized by Échec à la guerre and other organizations, join the CAP-CPC contingent
Angie Ipong, a peace advocate who devoted her life to the cause of peace and human rights, was arrested in Aloran, Misamis Occidental on March 8, 2005 by armed men who identified themselves as members of the CIDG. Upon her unjustified arrest, Angie was disappeared for 14 days and further subjected to violation of the rights of an arrested person, among them unjustified detention, sexual abuse and torture. She was later incarcerated at the Pagadian City Jail and slapped with fabricated cases of arson and murder. In February 17, 2011, upon dismissal of the cases filed against her, 66-year old Angie was finally released from prison.
Below is Angie's letter written in English.
At last I am free! After 6 years of prison life, I cherish with great joy the freedom won, dismissed of all the charges.
Today, International Women's Day, the day I was abducted brings back the memory of that terrible ordeal I passed through in the hands of my captors. Illegally detained, tortured, sexually molested and landed in jail to stay for 6 years.
Now, I could not imagine how I have managed to cope up with all the fears, anguish, boredom, loneliness, and all the challenges I went through in these 6 years. I know my captors wanted me to rot in jail, get cowed and bow down but I always believe that to give ourselves for service to our people, to do what is good, what is right and just, in the end, the truth will triumph. Imprisonment becomes an integral consequence of our commitment.
Indeed in my 6 years of prison life I never felt I wasted my stay. The guiding voice I clung to which gave me the strength could be summed up in these few quotes:
"Bloom where you are planted"
"Prison walls, iron bars and barbed wires can only imprison the body but not our mind, our thoughts and what we stand for.
With these I tried to learn many things in jail and put them into practice. Whether it was creating and tending the organic vegetable garden, or sewing, making indigenous cards, cooking, sharing and bonding with inmates, making culture and arts flourish, pushing for reforms inside the jail. All these kept me busy and productive.
Of course my 6 years in jail would have been really unbearable without the help of our fellow political detainees, fellow inmates, good and understanding jail authorities and guards.
The untiring efforts of my brother and sisters, my daughter, my closest kins, my lawyers, human and women's rights advocates here and abroad have helped so much in giving us comfort through visits, hastening resolution of our cases, helping us with our needs.
All these buoyed up my spirit, gave me the strength and courage and kept me whole and intact. Thank you so much.
I wish that the ordeal I suffered in the hands of my captors would never happen again. It is demeaning to one's womanhood.
I know there are still so many political prisoners languishing in jail especially women political detainees. I hope they too would soon be freed. There is no sense and no humanity in keeping them rot in jail when their productive and reproductive capacities could be tapped and maximized and be of great service to our people as moulders of our youth and society.###
CONFERENCE – Saturday, March 5 UQAM, Pavillon Hubert-Aquin, room A-2885, 400 Ste Catherine east (corner St-Denis), (métro Berri-UQAM)
Simultaneous Interpretation; childcare available : Voluntary contribution $5 (no one turned away)
International Women's Day Demonstration - Tuesday, March 8, Cabot Square (Atwater metro), starts 6:00pm.
The 8th March Committee of Women of Diverse Origins [WDO] celebrates International Women’s Day with the theme “The Slaves of the Slaves Rise Up!” an historic slogan adopted by women struggling for change and equality in different parts of the world at various historic junctures. It is a call from those brave women, oppressed in their own societies, who have been at the heart of their people’s struggles against regimes and tyrants who themselves were servants to imperialist masters.
As feminists, dedicated to a world of equality in all spheres, we oppose capitalism, imperialism and patriarchy in all its manifestations, within the home and outside the home, in political, economic and religious spheres . The WDO has contributed to a new militancy and awareness in the women’s movement locally, across the country and even beyond. We have much to celebrate following the successful Montreal International Women’s Conference which we hosted in August, 2010 and in the formation at that time of a militant, anti-imperialist, anti-patriarchal and anti-racist International Women’s Alliance.
This year we are inspired by the historic revolts sweeping North Africa and the Middle East where women once again are on the frontlines, the backbone of resistance. After decades, people again around the world are throwing off the shackles of fear and oppression and rising up against authoritarian rulers and oppressive regimes that themselves are controlled by imperialist and neo-liberal powers. Their living situations with rising prices and increasing lack of human dignity have reached boiling point and are spilling over. Political and economic exploitative systems are being revealed in all their starkness.
There will be a conference on Saturday 5th March from 10am till 5pm with speakers from Tunisia, Iran, Haiti and the Philippines and presentations on Québec and Canada – welfare rights, violence against women, indigenous women, cutbacks affecting women and marginalized communities.
There will be discussion, debate and celebration, especially as this is also a year of landmark anniversaries – groups that are part of the 8th March WDO -- PINAY, the Filipino women’s group celebrating 20 years, the South Asian Women’s Community Centre, celebrating 30 years, the Mouvement contre le viol et l’inceste with 35 years and the WDO itself celebrating its first decade.
And on Tuesday 8th March – International Women’s Day demo – Ste-Catherine Street, starting at Cabot Square (Atwater) at 6 pm.
All are invited to both events. Celebrating strength, advancing struggles! Info: email:firstname.lastname@example.org
En tant que féministes qui œuvrent pour un monde d’égalité dans tous les domaines, nous combattons le capitalisme, l’impérialisme et le patriarcat sous toutes ses formes, à l’intérieur et à l’extérieur du foyer, dans les sphères politique, économique et religieuse. Le FDO a contribué à l’émergence d’un militantisme nouveau et à une prise de conscience dans le mouvement féministe sur la scène locale, nationale et au-delà. Nous avons de grandes réussites à célébrer, telle que le succès de la conférence internationale de Montréal que nous avons accueillie en août 2010 et la formation subséquente d’une Alliance internationale des femmes, militante, anti-impérialiste, anti-patriarcale et antiraciste.
Cette année, nous sommes inspirées par les révoltes historiques qui balayent l’Afrique du Nord et le Moyen-Orient où encore une fois les femmes sont sur les lignes de front et forment l’ossature de la résistance. Après des décennies, les peuples du monde secouent à nouveau les chaînes de la peur et de l’oppression pour se soulever contre des dirigeants autoritaires et des régimes oppresseurs qui sont eux-mêmes contrôlés par les puissances impérialistes et néolibérales. Des conditions de vie marquées par la hausse des prix et la négation croissante de la dignité humaine ont conduit à cet état d’ébullition et on assiste maintenant aux débordements. Les systèmes politiques et économiques exploiteurs sont mis à jour dans toute leur brutalité.
Il y aura une conférence le samedi 5 mars, de 10 heures à 17 heures, avec des conférencières de Tunisie, d’Iran, d’Haïti et des Philippines ainsi que des exposés sur la situation au Québec et au Canada dans les domaines suivants – les droits sociaux, la violence contre les femmes, les femmes autochtones, les coupures qui affectent les femmes et les communautés marginalisées.
Il y aura des discussions, des débats et des célébrations car c’est aussi une année d’anniversaires marquants pour les groupes qui forment le Comité du 8 mars FDO – PINAY, l’organisation des femmes philippines du Québec fête ses 20 ans; le Centre communautaire des femmes sud-asiatiques fête ses 30ans; le Mouvement contre le viol et l’inceste fête ses 35 ans et le FDO lui-même fête sa première décennie.
Et mardi le 8 mars - la manif de la Journée internationale des femmes partira à 18 heures du Carré Cabot (Atwater), rue Ste Catherine Ouest à 18 heures.
Vous êtes toutes et tous invitées aux deux événements. Célébrer nos forces et faire avancer nos luttes
Info : courriel : email@example.com
The people of Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere around the world are throwing off the shackles of fear and oppression and rising up against authoritarian rulers and oppressive regimes that themselves are controlled by imperialist and neo-liberal powers. Their living situations with rising prices and increasing lack of human dignity have reached boiling point and are spilling over. Political and economic exploitative systems are being revealed in all their starkness.
In Québec, Canada, Haiti, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Mexico, Colombia, in indigenous lands near and far, women are on the front lines, always, a backbone of resistance to oppression, genocide, violence and exploitation. The women of Palestine, Tunisia and Egypt inspire us with their determination and courage fighting to gain the liberation of their people and themselves. The March 8 Committee of Women of Diverse Origins celebrates these women and sends out a call to all to join us as we mark INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY, this year under the theme : The Slaves of the Slaves Rise Up !
As feminists, dedicated to a world of equality in all spheres, we oppose patriarchy in all its manifestations, within the home and outside the home, in political, economic and religious spheres . Women workers, migrants, students, indigenous… women in all their diversity in Montreal and across Canada are playing a key role in transforming society. On the picket lines, standing on the barricades, marching, organizing, rising up against exploitation, discrimination and injustice while creating a new more just, and liberated world out of the old.
We celebrate the longevity of our local women’s groups that thrive despite cuts in funding or no funding at all - groups like PINAY, the Filipino women’s group celebrating its 20th anniversary, the South Asian Women’s Community Centre, celebrating its 30th anniversary, and the Mouvement contre le viol et l’inceste with its 35 years of continuing grassroots organizing and service to women. The Women of Diverse origins is also marking its first decade.
Collectively, we have contributed to a new militancy and awareness in the women’s movement locally, across the country and even beyond. We have much to celebrate following the successful Montreal International Women’s Conference which we hosted in August, 2010 and in the formation at that time of a militant, anti-imperialist, anti-patriarchal and anti-racist International Women’s Alliance.
This year’s women’s day activities in Montreal will build on that momentum with a conference and rally. On Saturday March 5 from 10 am to 5pm our forum will feature speakers at the heart of local struggles, discussion groups, cultural presentations and literature tables. It is open to everyone and childcare will be provided.
Then on Tuesday March 8, which is International Women’s Day, we will join women all over the world by marking the day with a march starting at 6 pm starting from Atwater Square. All are invited. Bring banners, slogans and noise makers as we take to the streets to announce that “the slaves of the slaves rise up!”
Info: email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Les peuples d'Égypte, de Tunisie et ailleurs dans le monde se soulèvent, rejettent les chaînes de la peur et de l’oppression pour se dresser contre des dirigeants autoritaires et des régimes d’oppression qui sont eux-mêmes contrôlés par les puissances impérialistes et néolibérales. Des conditions de vie, marquées par la hausse continue des prix et la négation croissante de la dignité humaine, ont conduit à cet état d’ébullition et on assiste maintenant au débordement. Les systèmes politiques et économiques exploiteurs sont mis à jour dans toute leur brutalité.
Au Québec, au Canada, en Haïti, au Sri Lanka, aux Philippines, au Mexique, en Colombie, sur les terres indigènes proches ou lointaines, des femmes sont aux premiers rangs, elles sont toujours le pilier de la résistance à l’oppression, au génocide, à la violence et à l’exploitation. Les femmes de Palestine, de Tunisie et d’Égypte nous inspirent par leur détermination et leur courage à se battre pour obtenir leur libération et celle de leurs peuples. Le Comité du 8 mars des femmes de diverses origines rend hommage à ces femmes et lance un appel à toutes pour qu’elles nous rejoignent pour célébrer la Journée internationale des femmes, placée cette année sous le thème ‘Les esclaves des esclaves se lèvent!’
En tant que féministes qui œuvrent pour un monde d’égalité dans tous les domaines, nous sommes opposées au patriarcat sous toutes ses formes, à l’intérieur et à l’extérieur des foyers, dans les sphères politique, économique et religieuse. Les travailleuses, les migrantes, les étudiantes, les femmes autochtones dans toute leur diversité, à Montréal et à travers le Canada, jouent un rôle-clé dans la transformation de la société. Elles sont présentes sur les lignes de piquetage, les barricades, dans les défilés, les campagnes de syndicalisation, de lutte contre l’exploitation, la discrimination et l’injustice pour créer un monde nouveau, plus juste et libéré de l’ancien monde.
Nous célébrons la longévité de nos groupes de femmes qui continuent à se développer au niveau local en dépit des coupures dans leur financement, ou sans financement aucun – des groupes comme PINAY, l’organisation des femmes philippines du Québec qui fête son 20e anniversaire, le Centre communautaire des femmes sud-asiatiques qui fête ses 30 ans d’existence et le Mouvement contre le viol et l’inceste, des organisations de la base qui sont au service des femmes depuis 35 ans. Le regroupement des Femmes de diverses origines célèbre aussi sa première décennie.
Ensemble, nous avons contribué à l’émergence d’un militantisme nouveau et d’une prise de conscience dans le mouvement féministe sur la scène locale, nationale et au-delà. Nous pouvons célébrer le succès de la conférence internationale de Montréal qui s’est tenue en août dernier et qui a débouché sur la formation d’une Alliance internationale des femmes, militante, anti-impérialiste, anti-patriarcale et antiraciste.
Cette année, les activités qui entourent la Journée internationale des femmes à Montréal continueront sur cet élan pour proposer une conférence et un défilé. Le samedi 5 mars, de 10 heures à 17 heures, notre forum présentera des conférencières qui sont au cœur de luttes locales, proposera des groupes de discussion, des exposés culturels et des tables de documentation. Il est ouvert à toutes et un service de garde sera offert pour les jeunes enfants.
Ensuite, le mardi 8 mars, Journée internationale des femmes, nous nous joindrons aux femmes du monde entier pour souligner la journée par un défilé qui partira du square Atwater à Montréal à 18 heures. Vous êtes toutes invitées. Apportez des bannières, des slogans, des accessoires sonores alors que nous descendrons dans les rues pour proclamer ‘Les esclaves des esclaves se lèvent!’
Info : courriel : email@example.com
By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International Coordinating Committee
International League of Peoples' Struggle
February 27, 2011
The International League of Peoples' Struggle (ILPS) steadfastly stands in solidarity with and supports the peoples of the North African and Middle East countries in their mass uprisings and revolutionary struggles for national liberation and democracy against the autocratic regimes long maintained by imperialist powers and local reactionary classes.
At the same time, the ILPS is keenly aware that the overthrow of a dictator by a rapid spontaneous surge of the masses does not necessarily result in the revolutionary overthrow of the ruling system. In the absence of a strong revolutionary party of the proletariat and revolutionary mass organizations, the imperialist powers and its puppets among the competing political and military factions of the local exploiting classes can arrange a new regime that pretends to be better than the previous one.
Are peoples perpetually and hopelessly trapped in ruling systems controlled and manipulated by the imperialists and their reactionary agents? No. The crisis of each ruling system and the mass uprisings can result not only in the overthrow of the autocratic regime but also in the further development of revolutionary parties, mass organizations and alliances for the continuous advance of the people's cause for national and social liberation.
The peoples' uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East are not the deliberate creation of the imperialists, their mass media and smart political agents. They are the people's resistance to the oppression and exploitation that they have long suffered. Their suffering has been made more than ever intolerable by the crisis of the world capitalist system and domestic ruling systems under the bankrupt US-imposed policy of neoliberal globalization and the US global war of terror characterized by state terrorism and aggression.
While the revolutionary strength of the people in a country is not yet sufficient to overthrow the ruling system, the US and its puppets deck themselves out as democrats by trying to forge new constitutions and instituting periodic elections and term limits for elective officials even as variable balances of political and military factions continue to make the ruling system apparently stable but really more unstable, remaining ripe for the next corrupt autocratic regime or servile to monarchies most favored by the US as in Saudi Arabia and the emirates.
The big prize for the US and its imperialist allies and its biggest local puppets in North Africa and the Middle East is the stepped-up superprofit-taking from the cheap labor of the working people, exploitation of oil and other natural resources, the huge sales of armaments to the oil producing countries and many other kinds of businesses.
The imperialist powers headed by the US are hell-bent on tightening their control over all the major sources of oil and gas and cannot tolerate the degree of national independence or anti-imperialism that Iraq and Libya exercised in extended periods in the past and that Iran is striving hard to maintain. The US is now flagrantly seeking to grab and tighten its control over the oil resources of Libya as in Iraq. It is taking the lead in applying sanctions and threatening to unleash the aggression and atrocities that it used to take over the oil resources of Iraq.
Once more, the irony of autocrats subservient or pliant to US imperialism but eventually junked by it is being demonstrated in North Africa and the Middle East. New sets of puppets are being arranged to further exploit and oppress the people. But through perseverance in revolutionary struggle in the long course of history, the people can develop their own strength to realize their national and social liberation.
On the scale of North Africa and the Middle East and particular countries, the course and outcomes of the peoples' uprisings follow the law of uneven development. Under any circumstances, the ILPS stands in solidarity with and supports the broad masses of the people and the anti-imperialist and democratic forces, and encourage them to be vigilant and militant against machinations to maintain and prolong imperialist domination and subservience by the local reactionary forces.
The International League of Peoples' Struggle looks forward to far greater revolutionary struggles now and in the future. Whatever are the temporary arrangements that can be made by the imperialists and their reactionary agents, the revolutionary energy and forces already released by the peoples' uprisings will find fertile ground to grow in strength and advance against the crisis-stricken world capitalist system and the local ruling systems.###