NOVEMBER 5th Day of Action to FREE THE MORONG 43!

BAYAN-USA-NORCAL is calling on the people of the bay area to educate themselves about the plight of the group of community health care workers known as the Morong 43 who have been illegally and unjustly detained by the Philippine government.  Apparently the Philippine government is slightly (ahem) embarrassed that a group of VOLUNTEERS and socially conscious medical professionals are doing a better job at providing medical care to the Philippine masses than the inept Philippine government and the broken and underfunded Philippine “health care” system.

As of now they are currently imprisoned on trumped up charges resulting from the Philippine military’s anti-insurgency campaign known as Oplan Bantay Laya (Operation Plan Freedom Watch).  November marks their NINTH month of detention.  Despite many international calls for their release Philippine President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III has all but washed his hands of the issue, which is disappointing since he ran his campaign partially upon a platform of improving human rights in the Philippines.  I’m sure though that if he heard enough people from around the world, he would be more inclined to take action on behalf of the imprisoned health care workers.  Hopefully learning more about the Morong 43 and the political economic conditions of the Philippines will motivate you to also show support for their struggle for freedom.

 

Click here to check below for more information on the Morong 43:

If you are interested in showing your support for the Morong 43 here are a few things that you can do.

Cool Ways to Help

Morong 43 Info

More information about the case of the ‘Morong 43′:

Karapatan: Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights – http://www.karapatan.org/

Arkibong Bayan Various pictures and news coverage – http://www.arkibongbayan.org/2010/2010-02Feb09-healthworkers/morong43.htm

Bangkok Post (8 April 2010): Church urges Philippine military to free suspected rebels – http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/asia/174089/church-urges-philippine-military-to-free-suspected-rebels

Philippine Daily Inquirer (16 April 2010): Court to try again to move Morong 43 – http://www.inquirer.net/mindandbody/healthbeat/view.php?db=1&article=20100416-264578

The Wall Street Journal (18 April 2010): Philippine Army Cracks Down Ahead of Vote –
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304252704575156600741110326.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_sections_world

Manila Bulletin (21 April 2010): CHR summons Verzosa to hearing on Morong 43 case – http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/253906/chr-summons-verzosa-hearing-morong-43-case

GMANews.TV (23 April 2010): ‘Morong 43′ supporters ask SC to grant habeas corpus plea – http://www.gmanews.tv/story/189217/morong-43-supporters-ask-sc-to-grant-habeas-corpus-plea

abs-cbnNEWS.com (25 April 2010): Morong 43’s transfer to Camp Crame stalled anew – http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/04/25/10/morong-43s-transfer-camp-crame-stalled-anew

Cool “Free the Morong 43” Posters!

9/17/10 Political Prisoners Nationwide to Hold Protest Fast for the Release of Morong 43 and All Political Prisoners

No pie from Bakesale Betty’s

No ribs from Everett and Jones

No chicken and waffles from Roscoes

No greasy meals in San Francisco.

Today my plate will go empty

Until freedom and justice are served

For the Morong 43 health workers

And all political prisoners.

Dear friends,

Tomorrow, September 17, is a Day of Action in support of the Morong 43 healthworkers, who have been unjustly imprisoned in the Philippines since February 6.  They are among 300+ political prisoners in the Philippines today–mothers, fathers, teachers, lawyers, students, workers, son and daughters who have been locked up on trumped up charges, simply for serving the people and speaking out against the corrupt and exploitative Arroyo administration.

During the Day of Action, political prisoners and their allies will be fasting in solidarity with the Morong 43 healthworkers and to demand the release of the 43 and all political prisoners.

Tomorrow, the Executive Committee of BAYAN-USA will all be fasting in solidarity with the Morong 43. I hope you will join us in the fast, by skipping a meal or two!  If you decide to do it, please let me know–it will help to know that i’m not the only one who is hungry and grumpy!

Rhonda Ramiro

Secretary General, National Executive Committee, BAYAN-USA

Regional Coordinator BAYAN-USA NORCAL Region

Supporters of the Morong 43 march to Mendiola bridge on their first month of detention. (Photo by Ronalyn V. Olea / bulatlat.com)

MEDIA RELEASE – 16 September 2010

Political prisoners nationwide to hold protest fast for the release of Morong 43 and all political prisoners
Detained health workers in Bicutan, and hundreds of political prisoners in various detention facilities in the provinces will stage a national protest fast tomorrow, September 17, to press for the immediate release of all political prisoners.  Human rights alliance Karapatan, Free the 43 Health Workers Alliance and the Samahan ng Ex-Detainess Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA), together with relatives of the detainees, cause oriented groups and rights advocates will also hold sympathy fast in Quezon City and other parts of the country.

“More than 300 prisoners of conscience are languishing in jail in various detention centers and many of them are illegally arrested and imprisoned for fighting the corrupt and fascist Arroyo regime”according to Jigs Clamor, acting secretary general of Karapatan and convenor of the Free the 43 Health Workers Alliance.
Clamor specifically cited the case of the 43 health workers collectively known as the Morong 43.  “It has been almost eight months since the illegal arrest of the 43 health workersin Morong, Rizal, and their rights are still being violated in their continued detention. It has been almost 100 days since Noynoy Aquino became president  and he has yet to show any steps in giving freedom to political prisoners, and concrete actions in resolving human rights violations in the country,” added Clamor,  whose wife Dr. Merry Mia Clamor is one the detained Morong 43.
Clamor declared that tomorrow, they will hold a day-long protest action and sympathy fasting at the Ninoy Aquino Monument in Quezon City. A mass, to be officiated by Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez, shall also be held at 12 noon at the St. Paul the Apostles Parish.

Senator Loren Legarda, Human Rights Commissioner Jose Mamauag, beauty queen and actress Isabel Lopez, church people, civil libertarians and artists shall also join in the mass and program that will follow. Former Martial law activists Director Bonifacio Ilagan, UP Faculty Regent Judy Taguiwalo and community leader Trinidad Herrera, all newly elected board members of SELDA, will also participate in the said activity.
“We are calling on the Aquino administration to be true to his promises of “daang matuwid,” and unconditionally release the Morong 43 and all political prisoners,” concluded Clamor. ###

September 17, 2010           NATIONAL DAY OF SYMPATHY FASTING

Sympathy Fasting Center:                    Ninoy Aquino Monument, Delta (Panay corner Timog Avenue), Quezon City

9:00am-12:00nn                                     Photo Exhibit/Symbolic Tyng of Ribbons/Ritual Activities

12:00nn – 1:00pm                                  Mass to be officiated by Bishop. Iniguez at the St. Paul of the Apostle Parish

1:00pm-4:00pm                                      Signing of Petition for the Release of Morong 43 and All Political Prisoners

Children’s Workshop and on-the-spot painting

4:00pm-6:00pm                                      Cultural Program

6:00pm-7:00pm                                      Candle Lighting and Signing of the Unity Statement

Detention centers and facilities from the following regions will participate in the said event:

Cordillera, Cagayan and Isabela, National Capital Region,Cebu, Bohol, Leyte, Bacolod,

Misamis Occidental and Compostela Valley.

Relatives, invited guests and friends of the Morong 43 will be available for interview.

LIVE COVERAGE IS MOST REQUESTED

September 18-19                5th CONFERENCE OF LAWYERS IN ASIA PACIFIC

There are about 200 foreign lawyers and 100 local delegates to the International Conference hosted by the International Association of Democratic Lawyers to discuss “Human Rights and Peace Amidst Global Crisis and Conflict”

12:00nn                                             A Press Conference of IADL Bureau Members

September 20                      A Visit to the MORONG 43 at the Camp Bagong Diwa

Foreign delegates to the International Conference will visit the Morong 43 to give their support and

to investigate on their present situation inside the detention center. For the itinerary please contact

Tinay Palabay, TANGGOL BAI convenor 09175003879.

September 21                      Commemoration of Martial Law

Human Rights groups led by KARAPATAN will participate in the multi-sectoral rally ked by Bagong

Alyansang Makabayan to denounce the continuing political repression in the country and to

demand the immediate release of the Morong 43 and other political prisoners in the country.

For details please contact Abby of BAYAN

MEDIA COVERAGES ARE REQUESTED ———————————————————————
PUBLIC INFORMATION DESK
publicinfo@karapatan.org

———————————————————————
Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights 2nd Flr. Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin corner Matatag Sts., Central DistrictDiliman, Quezon City, PHILIPPINES 1101 Telefax: (+63 2) 4354146Web: http://www.karapatan.org
KARAPATAN is an alliance of human rights organizations and programs, human rights desks and committees of people’s organizations, and individual advocates committed to the defense and promotion of people’s rights and civil liberties.  It monitors and documents cases of human rights violations, assists and defends victims and conducts education, training and campaign.  It was established in 1995.


KARAPATAN Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights

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Norma G. Biñas
Email: norbin2008@gmail.com
Telefax: +63 2 426 2201
Mobile:  0921 7750941

Yolanda Billeza, one of the 43 Morong detainees, raises her fist in protest as she disembarks from a bus at the Court of Appeals for the writ of habeas corpus hearing

On the Anniversary of the Ending of the Republic of the Philippines-U.S. Military Bases Agreemenf

A reflection on the junking of the RP-US Military Bases Agreement by Anakbayan-NY/NJ member Gary Labao:

September 16, 1991

by Gary Labao on Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 1:27am

It’s been almost two decades ago today when the RP-US Military Bases Agreement was junked and became a significant portion of Philippine history.

September 16, 1991 was just as historical as the Katipunan revolution that put an end to centuries of Spanish colonial domination, or the turbulent First Quarter Storm that eventually led to the dismantling of the US-Marcos dictatorship.

September 16, 1991 was one of those days in Philippine history that was victoriously marked due to the simple idea of “love for country and love for freedom”. The Philippine Senate at the time, one that represents the interest of the big bourgeois-compradors and big landlords, stood with a principle and on the same side as the Filipino patriots, progressives, militants, workers, peasants and even with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) in demanding an end to the RP-US Military Bases Agreement. It was a true emotional moment for the Philippine nation to stand firmly united, brave, daring and defiant, a true characteristic of a genuine red-blooded Filipino in the tradition of Lapu-Lapu, Rizal, Mabini and Bonifacio.

It was a victory of the Filipino people. The move proved to the world that as a nation, we the Filipinos can and have the ability to defend national sovereignty and uphold patriotism against foreign intervention. It proved that we as a nation can unite together along patriotic ideals disregarding political or ideological differences. It proved that we can oppose and say “NO!” to the most powerful country in the world the United States of America.

Of course, like the Katipunan revolution and the EDSA uprising of 1986, such victories were short-lived. The declaration of Philippine independence was never recognized and the US immediately occupied our country as a US colony. When the US-Marcos dictatorship fell it didn’t take long until tyranny and corruption were also restored. The September 16, 1991 victory was also short-lived. As soon as the last US soldier left the Philippine shores and the gates of the largest US air and naval military bases in the Pacific was locked, more troops soon arrived and occupy various parts of our country via the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).

Now in the 21st century, the Filipino people have waited too long for genuine nationalism and democracy. We have yet to be a nation genuinely free from any foreign domination, control or influence, or at the very least without the presence of any foreign military on our soil as mandated by the Philippine constitution.

Philippine society obviously has many other problems and issues such as land reform, unemployment, crimes, drugs, corruption, traffic, jueteng, etc. But as a society, we need unity and without unity it is difficult to accomplish any goal, and now that the nation is under a new regime, we need to continue to work together and unite for a common goal. A goal that can ensure that our nation is not only free from corruption, wang-wang, drugs and crimes, jueteng, incompetent and abusive Police force, etc. but most importantly free from US military intervention. We must unite to junk the VFA and oppose any effort of any foreign military powers to use and abuse our land, our people and our resources for their own interest, we must protect our own national interest. We must fight for genuine nationalism and democracy.

On September 16, 1991, under the first Aquino regime, we united as a nation together with the Philippine Senate to stand against the extension of the RP-US Military bases. Now that we are under the regime of another Aquino, the Filipino people must be able to push it even further towards a truly US military free Philippines!

8-30-10 Action to Commemorate the International Day of the Disappeared

To the mark the International Day of the Disappeared on Monday, August 30th the BAYAN-USA-NORCAL region’s member organizations, led by the San Francisco Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (SF-CHRP) engaged in a procession from Market and Powell which ended with a demonstration in front of the Philippine Consulate.

BAYAN-USA-NORCAL organizations in attendance included Anakbayan-East Bay, babae-SF of the Filipina women’s alliance, GABRIELA-USA, The League of Filipino Students- SFSU, and of course SF-CHRP. Also, joining in solidarity with the BAYAN-USA NORCAL region were representatives of VietUnity and the Xican@ Moratorium Coalition (which you can read more about here, and here)

The BAYAN-USA NORCAL staff and its member organizations would like to offer our allies a HUGE round of applause for marching with us and pass along big time props to Sagnichte Salazar and Phuong Vuong, of XMC and VietUnity respectively, for providing face time for the TV coverage from ABS-CBN. Long Live International Solidarity!!!

Click here to read more news coverage of the action from Henni Espinosa of the ABS-CBN North America Bureau!

Philippine National Police Turn an International Tragedy into a Quaint Photo-op

Philippine National Police cheerfully pose for a picture in front of the scene where they failed to save the lives of eight tourists from a gun wielding ex-police officer.

I doubt that I have to say much more than that this picture should illustrate the attitude that the Philippine National Police hold towards not only their careers in law enforcement, but also towards the loss of human life.  Absolutely  sickening.

Hong Thai Bus Tragedy: Another Manifestation of the Economic Desperation in the Philippines?

Relatives of the eight Hong Kong tourists who were killed in the Philippines hostage crisis, kneel in respect near the tourist bus during a Buddhist ceremony Tuesday in Manila, Philippines. (Bullit Marquez/AP)

In the wake of the horrific tragedy in the Philippines of the Hostage situation upon the Hong Thai Travel Bus, here is a rather penetrating reflection of the incident as written by Valerie Francisco. Francisco is a founding member of the Filipina women’s organization, FiRe (Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment) which is a member organization of GABRIELA-USA and BAYAN-USA based in New York City.

Francisco writes:

No justifications for Mendoza here. I mourn with the families in Hong Kong who lost their loved ones on that bus. And also for Mendoza’s family.

Moreover, I mourn for the many men’s desperation in the Philippines that may or may not hold another hostage. And those who are held hostage by the conditions of unlivable life.

click here to read more!