Philippines: “Zamboanga protest vs Balikatan troops shows mounting anti-US sentiment”

US TROOPS OUT NOW!  Participants of the People's Caravan in Zamboanga City oppose the US-PH war exercises and the continued US intervention.  Satur Ocampo (with eyeglasses), president of Bayan Muna and Makabayan Coalition, joined Mindanaons in defending national sovereignty.  (davaotoday.com photo by Kai A. Rosello)

US TROOPS OUT NOW! Participants of the People’s Caravan in Zamboanga City oppose the US-PH war exercises and the continued US intervention. Satur Ocampo (with eyeglasses), president of Bayan Muna and Makabayan Coalition, joined Mindanaons in defending national sovereignty. (davaotoday.com photo by Kai A. Rosello)

[While the US-PH war exercises ended in April 27, it will extend until June in Sarangani.   “We all know that US troops will not leave. The US is only using the feud between China and Philippines over the Spratlys to justify its continued presence here,” says Bai Indayla of Patriyotiko Mindanao].

By KAI A. ROSELLO & MARILOU AGUIRRE-TUBURAN
Davao Today, April 30, 2012

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — They came.  They saw.  They conquered. Almost.

Only 100 meters away and protesters could have reached the vicinity of the Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) headquarters where the US Joint Special Operations Task Force also holds office. The militants could have reached the gates if they march for 600 meters farther, only if the military didn’t set up barricades of makeshift barbed-wire fence, three Armored Personnel Carrier, a fire truck and some 300 police riot dispersal personnel.

About 3,000 workers, peasants, youth and students, teachers, church people, Moro, Lumads (indigenous people) and urban poor settlers, among others, converged here to protest the Balikatan military war exercises between the US and Philippine troops.

Dubbed People’s Caravan and Lakbayan against US Militarism and Plunder, participants came from five Mindanao regions in a 77-vehicle caravan.

While the US-PH war exercises ended last  April 27, Patriyotiko Mindanao spokesperson Bai Ali Indayla said they are still opposing it because it extends until June in Sarangani in the Soccsksargen region. Continue reading

Philippines: An alliance between CPP and the Philippine government?

[Under the banner of “defending national interests” against China, the first steps toward an alliance between the US’ comprador/puppet Philippine regime of  President Aquino, and the Communist Party of the Philippines are being given public expression.  See, below, news of the government response to the offer made by Jose Maria Sison a few days ago.  Sison’s speech, given in the Netherlands but transmitted online to a National  Security Program at the AFP HQ Camp Aguinaldo in the Philippines, is posted under the news article, below.  —  Frontlines ed.]

———————————

“Govt open to alliance with Reds”

Manila Standard Today, May 2nd, 2012, by

The Aquino administration is open to forging an alliance with the communists, the government’s chief negotiator, Alexander Padilla, said Tuesday.He said the government was open to accepting suggestions from “a recommendatory body” created by the Communist Party of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front.Communist Party founding chairman Jose Maria Sison on Monday renewed his offer of an alliance and a truce with the government through a “special track” in the negotiations, but dropped a proposal for a coalition.Sison made the offer in an online lecture before the National Defense College of the Philippines in Camp Aguinaldo on Monday, a copy of which was e-mailed to the Manila Standard.

Padilla described Sison’s offer as “doable.”

“It is possible that a recommendatory body by them may be formed. If they are pushing for this special track, we are open to this. We find this more welcome than their earlier proposal for a coalition,” Padilla said.

“But let me make it clear we are only talking of an alliance here. We are not talking of coalition or power sharing or giving Cabinet posts to the CPP-NDFP.

Sison expressed optimism that the peace talks, which have been stalled for 14 months, could still be revived through the special track.

“I urge no less than the President of the government of the Philippines to muster the political will to do his crucial part in making the regular and special tracks succeed,” he said. Continue reading

Philippines: New People’s Army attacks PA military convoy–infantry vows revenge

Military vows to avenge death of 11 soldiers

Friday, 27 April 2012 00:00Written by VICTOR REYES

THE military yesterday vowed to avenge the death of 11 soldiers, including an officer, in an ambush staged by the New People’s Army Wednesday in Ifugao.

Forces from the 86th Infantry Battalion are pursuing the rebels who ambushed their colleagues in Gamhung village, Tinoc town.

“We will make sure that the perpetrators will be brought to justice,” said Col. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos, AFP spokesman.

“Maj. Gen. Rommel Gomez, commander of the 5th Infantry Division, has directed ground troops to establish armed contact with the perpetrators and exact justice, said the division’s spokesman, Col. Miguel Puyao. Continue reading

Philipppines: Parañaque demolition clash kills 1, hurts dozens

Residents hurl rocks at an anti-riot police vehicle during a demolition of shanties in Sucat, Paranaque city, metro Manila April 23, 2012. (REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco)
Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/International/2012/Apr-23/171093-philippine-demolition-clash-kills-1-hurts-dozens.ashx#ixzz1su3I4Uhe
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

By 

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

MANILA, Philippines — One person was killed and at least six were injured on Monday as heavily-armed riot police clashed with hundreds of residents of Silverio Compound in Parañaque City clashed with police-backed demolition teams Monday.

The fatality occurred as squatters blocked a road, hurling large stones at police, armed with shields and truncheons, who were trying to disperse them. Hundreds of illegal settlers burned tires, hurled rocks, bottles and bags filled with fish innards at police, who responded with tear gas.

Local precinct commander Senior Inspector Ani Endraca said one person was killed and another was in a critical condition after they were shot in the confusion.

“If you saw the situation here, you would think you were in Iraq,” he said, adding that five police and government personnel were hit by flying rocks.

He said it was only after the rioters were dispersed that police found a dead man on the road who appeared to have been shot in the head. It was not clear what caused the death of a man, who appeared to be a protester.

A village watchman was also shot and subsequently rushed to hospital, Endraca said, adding that it was not known who had shot the two men.

Local broadcaster GMA showed footage of a policeman firing an assault rifle towards the rioters as the police were showered with rocks.

“We will have to check on that,” said Endraca when told of the incident. Continue reading

Philippine / US troops joint training for counter-insurgency, and for US-Pacific domination

[Though both the US imperialist and comprador Philippine governments describe “Balikatan” (shoulder-to-shoulder) exercises as normal, routine, and “humanitarian,” they are actually part of more intense–and expanded–trainings for regional wars (which may challenge or extend the US’ hegemonic role, or China’s growing role) and for domestic Philippine counter-insurgency operations against rebel opposition, both communist and Islamic.  The pictures below express this very well.  —  Frontlines ed.]

Reuters, ‘Balikatan’ exercises
More than 4,000 American troops joined their Filipino counterparts for a series of military exercises in the West Philippine Sea,  an area that involves a territorial dispute that centers on a shoal not far from the Philippines’ main island of Luzon. The dispute centers on a group of islands known in the Philippines as Scarborough Shoal and recognized as Huangyan island in Chinese. Both Philippines and China have staked a claim on the islands, according to media reports.

U.S. soldiers inspect a Filipino soldier portraying a communist rebel killed in an ambush during a Philippine-U.S. troops joint military exercise in Ternate town, Cavite city, south of Manila April 19, 2012.

A U.S. soldier patrol past a boy during a Philippine-U.S. troops joint military exercise in Ternate town, Cavite city, south of Manila April 19, 2012. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

U.S. soldiers walk past Filipino soldiers portraying communist rebels killed in an ambush during a Philippine-U.S. troops joint military exercise in Ternate town, Cavite city, south of Manila April 19, 2012.

A U.S. soldier carries a Filipino soldier portraying a communist rebel killed in an ambush during a Philippine-U.S. troops joint military exercise in Ternate town, Cavite city, south of Manila April 19, 2012.

U.S. and Filipino soldiers take part in an urban combat drill during a Philippine-U.S. troops joint military exercise in Ternate town, Cavite city, south of Manila April 19, 2012.

Filipino and U.S. soldiers conduct a patrol during an ambush drill during a Philippine-U.S. troops joint military exercise in Ternate town, Cavite city, south of Manila April 19, 2012.

Filipino and U.S. soldiers take part in an ambush drill during a Philippine-U.S. troops joint military exercise in Ternate town, Cavite city, south of Manila April 19, 2012.

Philipppines: Statement on People’s War in Central Luzon

“Central Luzon perseveres along the path of people’s war”

Ang Bayan, April 7, 2012

 Central Luzon continues to reap victories in the armed struggle despite the brutal onslaught of the military;s campaign of suppression. The NPA was able to launch victorious tactical offensives, seize weapons from the military and mete punishment on those who owed blood debts to the masses.

The key factor in the region’s victories is its determination to advance the people’s democratic revolution from the present stage of strategic defensive to the next stage of strategic stalemate.

The masses and the revolutionary movement in Central Luzon have proven that no matter how much the state uses its most brutal oplan, it could never defeat a people waging resistance. Continue reading

Philippines: NDF Press Statement — “Long live the peasant army! Long live the NPA!”

Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Magbubukid — National Democratic Front of the Philippines

PRESS STATEMENT

March 27, 2012

Reference: Andres Agtalon, PKM spokesperson

With utmost joy, the Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Magbubukid – National Democratic Front of the Philippines (PKM-NDFP) celebrate and express its warmest revolutionary greetings to all the Red commanders and fighters on the occasion of the 43rd founding anniversary of the New People’s Army (NPA) on March 29, 1969.

The PKM salutes the NPA as its true and own army in achieving greater victories in advancing the peoples’ war. We cherish the NPA as a peasant army that is waging a peasant war in order to liberate the peasant majority from feudal and semi-feudal bondage. Resolving the worsening land problem is still the main content of the armed struggle and, because of this, the peasantry continuously advance the peoples’ war and wage campaigns to cherish the people’s army.

Majority of the Red fighters come from the broad masses of peasants. The Filipino peasantry will continue to be a deep source of Red fighters as we shall wholeheartedly offer our best sons and daughters to join the NPA and serve the people.

At this stage of the Philippine revolution, it is the task of the PKM to surge forward to a new and higher level of the people’s war: to inflame the countryside with peasant struggles, arouse millions of peasants to join the armed struggle and the NPA. Continue reading

Manila gets second U.S. Coast Guard ship

USCG cutter Dallas

by Staff Writers, UPI
Manila, Philippines, Feb 16, 2012

The Philippines navy soon will receive its second decommissioned U.S. Coast Guard ship amid concern that the move sends the wrong signal to China.

Final U.S. approval for the sale of the USCGC Dallas, a Hamilton class cutter, is under way and the 378 foot-long, 3,250-ton vessel should soon sail for the Philippines.

The Dallas was commissioned in 1967 at the Avondale Shipyard in New Orleans. It carries a crew of 167 and can stay at sea for around 45 days, making it a high-endurance vessel.

Armaments included one OTO Melara MK-75 76mm gun, two MK-38 25mm machine gun systems and two MK 36 SRBOC systems. It also had a Phalanx CIWS missile defense gun, along with other mounted machine guns.

The ship is being sold as an excess defense article through the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act 1961.

But the Communist Party of the Philippines said the sale indicates the United States is preparing the Philippines navy as its de facto fighting force against China as the tensions increase in the South China Sea, a report in the Philippines newspaper Business Mirror said.

“The transfer of another naval cutter from the U.S. government serves the purpose of U.S. military buildup on the South China Sea,” the CPP said in a statement.

“The United States is able to employ the Philippine navy as an augmentation force in the course of its operations to permanently project its military presence and power in the area and secure the trade routes and Asian markets in the interest of U.S. monopoly capitalist companies.”

The CPP also said the acceptance of the Dallas makes the navy a target by enemies of the Philippines. Continue reading

Philippines: “Armed revolution and the people will frustrate the intensification of militarization in Negros”

A statement by Juanito Magbanua, Spokesperson, NPA Negros Island (Apolinario “Ka Boy” Gatmaitan Command)
February 03, 2012

The Apolinario “Boy” Gatmaitan Command (AGC) salutes the unit of the NPA under the Roselyn “Ka Jean” Pelle Command (North Negros) for a successful military action against the 62nd IB PA where 2 elements of the AFP were killed in action and many others wounded base on initial reports. The encounter took place in Hacienda Lope, Barangay Andres Bonifacio in Cadiz City last January 31, 2012. The said tactical offensive frustrated the AFP’s plan for a coordinated campaign against the NPA in the said area that has been declared by the military as insurgency-free lately.
The AGC also recognizes the bravery and daringness of the members of a yunit under  the Armando Sumayang Command (Southwest Front) that fought  much superior columns of composite forces of the 47th IB PA that assaulted a temporary NPA encampment in Sitio Akol, Brgy Manlocahoc, Sipalay City last January 28, 2012. Four members of the Scout Rangers (SR) were killed in action based on the reports of the locals who saw the bodies secretly taken away by the military. On the other hand, the people are saddened by the martyrdom of a Red Fighter. The military has now occupy the local market and are conducting illegal searches and interrogation of the barrio folks on the area of the firefight.  Sipalay is a target of many foreign mining companies. Continue reading

Philippines: Political prisoners stage different forms of protest

December 7, 2011

By INA ALLECO R. SILVERIO, Bulatlat.com

Detained artist Ericson Acosta and other political detainees all over the country are on hunger strike.

They began their strike last Saturday, December 3, 2011, as part of the campaign to free all political prisoners in the country. The hunger strike and sympathy fasts would continue until December 8. Other forms of protests are also being held in Camp Bagong Diwa and Batangas Provincial Jail.

Acosta, in particular, began his hunger strike to expose the particular circumstances of his arrest and continued unjust detention.
Acosta is an artist, journalist and cultural worker who was arrested by members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines on February 13, 2011 in Barangay Bay-ang, San Jorge, Samar province in the Eastern Visayan region. He faces trumped-up charges of illegal possession of explosives and is currently detained at the Calbayog City sub-provincial jail.

Ericson Acosta, began his hunger strike to expose the particular circumstances of his arrest and continued unjust detention. (Photo by Anne Marxze D. Umil / Bulatlat.com)The UP activist’s counsel has filed a Petition for Review of his case before the Philippine government’s Department of Justice (DOJ) last September 1.

Acosta’s supporters have called on authorities, particularly the Department of Justice , to immediately withdraw the fabricated illegal possession of explosive complaint lodged by the military against the poet. In a written message, Acosta stressed that it was “ utterly baseless for him to undergo a full-blown trial for this trumped-up charge.”

“I am the one who has the right to charge the state elements responsible for violating my human rights,” he said.

One of his particular demands is to pull out the highly irregular if not illegal presence of a squad of military men near his place of detention. A platoon of soldiers from the 87th IB were first deployed in the nearby barrio since July in the pretext of military operations, but it has become apparent that the soldiers are there to “guard” Acosta. Continue reading

How the dictator is remembered

At the height of his power in the 1970′s former president/dictator of the Philippines Ferdinand E. Marcos commissioned the construction of a 99-foot concrete bust in own image, situated on a cliff overlooking the South China Sea around 130 km North of Manila. In 2002 it was torn apart in an explosion, the eyes, forehead and cheeks blown to bits- suspects included left-wing activists, members of a local tribe – or possibly looters hunting for one of Marcos’ legendary treasure troves. The bust was completed in the early 1980s when Mr Marcos was still in power, but fell into disrepair after he was overthrown in a popular revolt in 1986.

Lakas Sambayanan (People’s Power)

"LAKAS SAMBAYANAN" (People's Power) 1986 (35’x80’) Painted by Johanna Poethig, Vicente Clemente and Presco Tabios. Exterior mural 300 Alemany Blvd. S.F. Commissioned by the San Francisco Mural Resource Center. his mural commemorates the 1986 revolution in the Philippines in which Marcos, dictator for 20 years, was ousted from power in a non-violent uprising. The mural shows the people in front of the military tanks, workers trapped behind sugarcane, a young girl scavenging on "Smokey Mountain", a garbage dump, Cory Aquino holding her assassinated husband "Ninoy" with figures from protest movements behind her. The culture and history of the Philippines is depicted in the muslim gong and catholic christmas star and a figure on horseback , the famous revolutionary Gabriela Silang. The centerpiece of the mural is the stone head Marcos had built of himself in the side of a mountain blowing up with a torch of freedom and the symbol of the bird created by political prisoners of the Marcos regime, emerging

http://www.johannapoethig.com/slides/slidesDCE/Projects/Lakas-Sambayanan/Arles/index.html

In San Francisco, a mural dedicated to People Power, Lakas Sambayanan, was commissioned by the San Francisco
Mural Resource Center in 1986 and painted in the same year on the side of a building beside the city’s famed Farmers
Market, visible daily to thousands on Highway 280. Continue reading

Philippines: Desperately Seeking Antigone

[September 21, 2011 is the 40th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines by Ferdinand Marcos.  Martial law ended 25 years ago, and Marcos died in 1989.  Recent years have seen attempts to remake the discredited dictator into a historic national hero.  This article by noted Filipina author (and martial law political prisoner) Ninotchka Rosca, describes the content of those attempts, and how they are viewed. — Frontlines ed.]

 by Ninotchka Rosca

The young heroine of a Greek tragedy elected to bury her younger brother, despite the king’s edict that he should lie dead and exposed to the elements.

Not burying the dead is violating their primal right: to lie buried, undisturbed– Requiescat In Pace.

This was the core template for one of my short stories: Earthquake Weather. I wrote it in honor of several friends killed by Marcos’s military and left exposed in front of various town halls. Being left unburied was one of the direst punishments inflicted under martial law; the other, ironically, was being buried in unmarked mass graves.

Imelda Marcos at the frozen display of the dictator F.Marcos' body in a crypt in Ilocos Norte

What to make, then, of the phenomenon of the dictator himself refrigerated since his death in 1988. Occasionally, through the years, I’d wonder how much it cost, in equipment and power supply, to turn him into a corpsicle. In a country where 80% of mothers cannot afford to refrigerate milk and baby food, this human jerky was symbolic of the excessive self-adulation of the Marcos regime.

Freeze-dried or mummified, dead is dead. Let the corpse return to the elements.

It has also become expressive of the politics of absurdity in the Philippines as recently, following a court-ordered compensation to victims of human rights violations during the Marcos regime, the dead’s clan, cronies and supporters have pushed for his burial in the Heroes’ Cemetery.

One would think that the senators, congressmen and governors of the Marcos family infrastructure would have better things to highlight:  good works done, nice legislation passed, lives of constituents made better. But no, it has to be about keeping alive the myth of Marcos and hence, ruling class invincibility, maintained by thought control, historical revision and an undercurrent of a message that tells the Filipino people they’re too stupid to pass judgment on someone like Marcos.  Continue reading

Philippines: Press reports and Wikileaks cast doubt on peace talks, Sison authority

NDF negotiators meet Norwegian envoy in bid to break impasse

05-Sep-11, 2011 | Agence France-Presse

MANILA, Philippines – Communist rebel negotiators met a special Norwegian envoy on Monday in a fresh bid to reopen stalled peace talks to end a four-decade war with the government, aides said.

The chief negotiator of the National Democratic Front, Luis Jalandoni, met the envoy at the embassy in Manila but details of the talks were not disclosed, the rebels’ secretariat said.

Government negotiator Alexander Padilla told AFP he would meet the Norwegian envoy on Tuesday but he did not know if the rebel negotiators would be at the talks as well.

Norway, which has been brokering the on-and-off talks, sent the envoy, Ture Lundh, to Manila after negotiations stalled over the demand of the NDF that the government free 13 captured comrades it said are consultants of its peace negotiating panel.

The two sides hope to seal a peace accord by June 2012 but the new impasse has soured ties, with the government accusing the NDF of bad faith for kidnapping a town mayor and four jail guards recently.

Meanwhile, recent US embassy cables leaked by the anti-secrecy site WikiLeaks revealed splits within the insurgent leadership, with self-exiled rebel founder Jose Maria Sison losing influence. Continue reading

Philippines: “New Peoples Army hits PA-AFP combat troops on ‘rescue mission’ in N. Cotabato; army sergeant, 3 others killed”

Soldiers man a check point in Cotabato City, Mindanao island

Press Statement

Ricardo Fermiza, Magtanggol Roque Command, Guerilla Front 51 Operations Command,NPA-Southern Mindanao

20 August 2011

The NPA’s Magtanggol Roque Command-Guerilla Front 51 Operations Command in Southern Mindanao ambushed a platoon of enemy troops under the 57th Infantry Battalion-Philippine Army-AFP, killing four of the troops including an Army sergeant last August 16, 11:00 AM in Sitio Malumpine, Barangay Old Balatukan in Makilala town, North Cotabato. No casualties were reported on the side of the Red fighters.

The enemy troops were conducting combat operations related to the four BJMP/PNP prisoners of war when hit by the Red fighters. These operations went full-scale since the taking of the four POWs last July 21 at the Davao-Bukidnon national highway. Despite the assurance of the NPA custodial unit, the Herminio Alfonso Command-Guerilla Front 53 Operations Command, that the rights of the four prisoners of war (POWs) were fully respected; and their safety and welfare fully ensured, the AFP continues to endanger their lives with these combat operations in the boundaries of Davao, Bukidnon and North Cotabato.

Again, the GPH-AFP must understand that military and police offensive operations in the guerilla areas will only put the lives of the POWs in peril and will be met with tactical offensives by the NPA.

New film on the US war of conquest against the Philippine people, 1900

“Amigo” trailer in English

see the Philippine trailer for the film here:

INTERVIEW | John Sayles on “Amigo”: “It’s just a great story that hasn’t been told”

by Brian Brooks (August 19, 2011)

http://www.indiewire.com/article/interview_john_sayles_on_amigo_its_just_a_great_story_that_hasnt_been_told/

A scene from John Sayles' "Amigo." Image courtesy of Variance Films.

Oscar-nominated filmmaker John Sayles dusted off an obscure part of American (and Filipino) history in making his latest film “Amigo,” set in the Philippines amidst the backdrop of U.S. occupation following the defeat of the country’s long-time colonial overlord, Spain. The drama follows a group of U.S. troops who occupy the small jungle hamlet. Under pressure from a stalwart officer, played by Chris Cooper, to help the Americans hunt for Filipino guerrilla fighters, the town’s defacto leader, Rafael (Joel Torre) is placed in a particularly odd situation because his brother (Ronnie Lazaro) leads the local insurgency and considers anyone who cooperates with the Americans to be a traitor. Rafael faces off a no-win situation, making potentially deadly decisions.

In a recent conversation with indieWIRE, Sayles talks about how he became enthralled with this little known part of history through writing his recent book, “A Moment in the Sun,” its parallels with U.S. expeditions overseas today, filming in the Philippines and why Hollywood and network news aren’t necessarily obligated to tell an accurate story. Continue reading