US Troops in Philippines: America Pursues Expansionism, Protects Economic Interests


MANILA – When former Navy Lt. Senior Grade Mary Nancy Gadian gave a press conference in Quezon City on Wednesday, August 26, 2009, to expose the wrongdoings of US troops stationed in the Philippines, she mentioned, among other things, the economic agenda behind America's continued presence in the country.

“The US is after the natural resources of the Philippines,” she said, adding that the Philippines has a “strategic location” in relation to the rest of Southeast Asia.

Gadian only affirmed what has always been the core of US expansionism: using its military power to exploit the wealth and resources of another country. This was the core strategy in practically all the wars America had fought — from Iraq to Afghanistan to the Philippines, where it had maintained military bases.

When these Philippine bases were removed by the people’s will in 1991, it did not signify the end of US military intervention in the Philippines. After the attacks in the US on Sept. 11, Washington found a convenient justification for sending its troops here – the so-called war on terror.

More at: US Troops in Philippines: America Pursues Expansionism, Protects Economic Interests - Bulatlat


Global Trade Union and Workers Action on the Global Economic Recession

G20 Meeting, September 24-25, 2009, Pittsburg, USA
Concept Paper


The deepest worldwide crisis of capitalism since the Great Depression has so far seen the efforts of global finance capitalists, whose actions were its immediate cause, to make workers and peoples of the world bear the cost of the crisis. These ruthless capitalists use their political power to full effect for their own narrow benefit. Workers and peoples world-wide desperately need to challenge them before the situation gets even worse for the majority of the world’s population.

Unemployment, under-employment and job insecurity are soaring everywhere, with some analysts predicting a drop in remittances of migrant workers to their families and massive layoffs of migrant workers. Meanwhile, the “bonus pool” for finance executives is again bursting with billions of dollars – this time, composed of public funds smuggled into their coffers under the banner of “bailout.”

Many companies are taking advantage of this crisis as a most deceitful propaganda line to freeze wages, retrench workers and replace them with contractual or flexible labor, reduce working days or hours, bust unions and close plants and relocate to places with lower wages, more worker repression and weaker environment laws.

Women workers are most affected by this global capitalist crisis. They are losing their jobs and working hours. They are receiving low wages, enduring the break-up of their families and being forced into prostitution and sex-trafficking.

Instead of abolishing or radically democratising the International Monetary Fund, the G-20 has promoted and re-financed it. This could only empower the IMF which was responsible for promoting savage “structural adjustment programs” which deregulated global finance, enthroned the business model of transnational corporations, and attacked workers’ minimum wages and right to organise and strike.

The root causes of the global recession lie in the global capitalist system and “free-market globalisation” driven by the US, European and Japanese imperialists.

These have also caused the over-exploitation and depletion of the world’s resources, environmental destruction and excessive release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere – which have all resulted in global warming and increase in violent natural events.


As the ruling classes of various countries tighten their unity in the face of the global financial and economic crisis, we workers and peoples of the world are working closer together and uniting even more to defend and advance our rights and interests against the offensive being carried out by the ruling classes.

We workers and peoples have always needed strong and active trade unions but especially in these times, when capitalists want to lay all the burden of the crises on our shoulders. They want to split us and increase the competition between us, even provoke hatred and violence between us, because they know – workers, united, will never be defeated!

We workers and peoples want to realize our right for a secure job without being blackmailed, a secure job that will enable us to provide a humane life for us and our families.

We don’t want our children to have to leave school for the reason that we have no more money to pay for their education.

We don’t want poor people dying and the sick remaining uncured because there are no health services available to them. We don’t want the poorest have to become homeless.

We don’t want the livelihood of peasant farmers to be ruined by big agro-industrial transnational corporations. We don’t want them to lose their lands to TNCs like Nestle and Monsanto.

We don’t want to be modern slaves of the World Trade Organization, which is desperately calling for more “free trade” to help TNCs recover from the great slump in trade.

We have the right to do political work, to fight independently and to strike, without any interference by those who collaborate with capitalists and without being harassed by police, soldiers or security. Yet in many countries, to stifle our legitimate dissent, we are illegally dismissed, intimidated, harassed, abducted or killed by company goons or state security forces.

It is our task as workers and peoples, and of our trade unions and trade union representatives, to struggle for the interests and rights of working families. We should oppose policies of collaborating with the boss’s schemes to bolster profits, and we should fight directly for workers' basic demands.

We say “no” to oppression and dismissals of workers’ leaders and activists – all for one and one for all! Touch one, touch all!

We fight against temporary work and contract work – we are one workforce.

We fight for the reduction of working hours with full wage compensation instead of job cuts.

We stand for human rights in all workplaces. We demand a stop to the killings of labor leaders, union members and labor advocates. We say “no” to all forms of labor repression.

We are strong when we join together.

We workers and peoples can make a new world that is more equal, more just, more humane and environmentally sustainable, if we can challenge and defeat the political power of the global capitalists.


Many of us believe that the global capitalist system, which we also call imperialism, has no solution to this crisis, except to make working men and women pay the heavy cost of corporate recovery, and even to launch wars of conquest to do so.

The G-20 Leaders Meeting scheduled for Pittsburgh, USA on September 24-25, 2009, is a good opportunity to protest against the perpetrators of this crisis and their moves, and to show that working people can unite – whatever our colour, gender, nationality, religion or age – to defend our common interests. Like Seattle, Pittsburgh is a fine union city.

We need to project socialist, green, worker-control and public sector alternatives to the global power of the big US, European and Japanese capitalists, if we are to build a world where our children and all people can enjoy a most beautiful paradise of humanity!

It is our right to fight state policies inimical to workers’ interests – those that destroy our jobs and livehood and that which slowly kill us!

It is the order of the day to fight corporation-wide and across borders! It is time. Let us fight together hand in hand!

We call on trade union organizations and workers’ associations around the world to prepare effective actions on September 24-25, 2009, devising slogans relevant in each of our countries but which also resonate globally. Since our calls are directed at governments, we call on trade union organizations and workers’ associations to launch these actions near the centers of political power in our countries. Each of our actions in those two days will strengthen all of our actions.

It is also a call to build an ever-stronger unity of the workers movements to win the imagination of the world for a democratic, inclusive, peaceful and environmentally sustainable world. This is a vital part of a process to win political power from the capitalists, amid this global economic and environmental crisis which is unlikely to abate, in fact at present is more likely to deepen.


Initial thinking for this proposition was done by workers, trade unionists from 17 countries gathered at the 25th International Solidarity Affairs of Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) in Manila and Tagaytay City, Cavite, Philippines, soon after May Day this year. We all face common problems, even if we are far away of each others and even if we are coming from rich and poor countries.


Peasant Activist Randy Echanis Released

After nineteen long months, peasant activist Randy Echanis is celebrating his first break from detention with the Supreme Court's order granting him provisional release for six months. Friends and family held a public event to mark freedom for the Deputy Secretary-General for External Affairs of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP, Peasant Movement of the Philippines).

KMP statement on the release of Randy Echanis:

Echanis’ release, victory for the peasant and people’s movement


Arroyo regime scuttling resumption of peace talks — NDF

The National Democratic Front accuses the Arroyo government of showing bad faith by not complying with an agreement that provides immunity guarantees to members of the NDF’s panel.


MANILA — The Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) appears bent on scuttling the resumption of formal peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), according to NDFP chief negotiator Luis Jalandoni. This, he said, is because the GRP has been violating the agreement reached in Oslo, Norway, last June 15, which covers among other things the reaffirmation of previously signed agreements as well as the release of detained NDFP consultants and other political prisoners.

(PHOTO - National Democratic Front chairman Luis Jalandoni and Coni Ledesma arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport July 13, 2009 to prepare for the resumption of peace talks between the government and the NDFP. Photo by Rudy Santos MANILA, Philippines)

The GRP-NDFP peace negotiations, which have been going on and off since 1986, were last stalled in 2002 when the US and the European Union included the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) and NDFP chief political consultant Jose Maria Sison in their “terrorist” lists. Since then the armed conflict has escalated, especially after the Arroyo government ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to crush the insurgency by 2010. Its counterinsurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya 1 and 2 (Operation Freedom Watch), which was implemented full-scale in 2002, resulted in more than a thousand extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances victimizing political activists in a seeming war of annihilation targeting unarmed civilians suspected by the military of having sympathies for the CPP-NPA.

Last June 15, the GRP and the NDFP agreed to resume formal negotiations in informal talks held in Oslo. The Royal Norwegian Government is facilitating the negotiations. It is hoped that the formal negotiations would seriously address the issue of human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearance, as both parties signed the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) way back in 1998.

More at: Arroyo Regime Scuttling Resumption of Peace Talks — NDF - Bulatlat


Philippine kidnapping case has Vancouver link

By Carlito Pablo
Publish Date: August 13, 2009

Faint from the torture inflicted on her, the terrified young woman was taunted by one of her tormentors.

“Do you think the Canadian government can do anything for you?” the man said. He called her “Maita”.

But her name wasn’t Maita. Nor was she a Canadian.

The woman was Melissa Roxas, an American citizen visiting the Philippines, the birthplace of her parents. An aspiring artist based in California, she was gathering material for a writing project when she and two companions were abducted in the town of La Paz in Tarlac, a province 120 kilometres north of Manila, on May 19. (PHOTO: Melissa Roxas talks to supporters when she returns to Manila to demand justice)

Taken to what she believed was a military camp and accused of being a communist rebel, Roxas was repeatedly beaten, choked, and threatened with execution. At one time, plastic bags were pulled down over her face and secured around her neck until she started suffocating. She was released six days later, on May 25.

Who is Maita, and was Roxas’s abduction a case of mistaken identity? Is there a Canadian connection to this case?

Migrante International, a Philippines-based group critical of the labour-export policies of the government there, believes that the target of Roxas’s abductors may have been its former secretary general Maita Santiago, of Vancouver.

Santiago ran for Vancouver city council in 1993, on the slate of then–Coalition of Progressive Electors mayoral candidate and now NDP Vancouver East MP Libby Davies.

Santiago and her family arrived in Canada in 1977, when she was a young child. She moved back to Manila in 1999 and was Migrante’s secretary general from 2002 to 2008. She returned to Vancouver last year.

She is currently the constituency assistant of NDP Vancouver-Kensington MLA Mable Elmore.

Read rest of article at: Philippine kidnapping case has Vancouver link

Also see Bayan Canada statement: There are many Melissas and Maitas


Happy 54th Birthday, Luing, from the CAP-CPC

It was in April 2007, just weeks after CAP-CPC members Marie Boti and Malcolm Guy had spent time with her in Iloilo, Philippines, that our friend Ma Luisa Posa Dominado, or Luing, was abducted along with her companion, Nilo Arado. They were on their way back from an election meeting with Bayan Muna when their vehicle was ambushed and the driver, human rights worker Leeboy Garachico, left for dead with bullet in his neck. Malcolm And Marie spent time in Panay this June 2009 with Luing’s daughters, MayWan and Tamara, and her friends and comrades. They interviewed the police and military who have done little to find the abductors, leading us to presume that once again they were involved. There has been no news yet of Luing’s or Nilo’s whereabouts, but we will continue, with her daughters, friends and supporters to keep struggling for their surfacing. Happy 54th birthday, dear Luing.

Surface Luisa Posa Dominado and Nilo Arado NOW!


NDF message of condolence on the death of former Philippine President Corazon Aquino

2 August 2009

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Negotiating Panel and its Consultants convey their heartfelt condolences to the family, relatives and friends of former President Corazon Aquino on her passing away yesterday.

Corazon Aquino was an outstanding and inspiring figure in the anti-fascist alliance against the Marcos dictatorship, especially after the assassination of her husband, Benigno Aquino. She was openly critical of the longrunning support of the US for the Marcos dictatorship in exchange for the aggrandizement of US economic interests and the continuance of the US military bases. (Photo from Edsa 20/20 by Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism)

Upon assuming the presidency after the fall of the dictator Marcos, she fulfilled her commitment to release all political prisoners, including Prof. Jose Maria Sison, founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the Chief Political Consultant of the NDFP.

She engaged the NDFP in peace negotiations, but the military and police caused the termination of the ceasefire agreement between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the NDFP when they indiscriminately fired on the peasants and their urban supporters marching for land reform on January 22, 1987.

The 1987 constitution, which was framed under the Aquino administration, contains provisions which may be used to counter land reform. But it also carries provisions which uphold human rights and restrain the proclamation of martial law, retain national restrictions on foreign investments and prohibit foreign military bases, foreign troops and nuclear weapons on Philippine soil.

Beset by coup attempts and threats by pro-Marcos and pro-Enrile factions of the military and police, then President Corazon Aquino sent Congressman Jose V. Yap to NDFP officials in The Netherlands in September 1990 to explore the holding of GRP-NDFP peace negotiations. These efforts were, however, derailed by Generals Fidel Ramos and Renato de Villa.

After she finished her term as president, Corazon Aquino strongly opposed the grossly anti-democratic policies and actions of her successors, Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. In this regard, she was willing to join up with the patriotic and progressive forces of the people in mass protest actions.

Though suffering from failing health, she condemned the anti-democratic machinations of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to cling to power beyond her term ending in June 2010. From her sickbed, she sent a powerful message of support to thousands of demonstrators protesting Mrs. Arroyo’s Con-Ass scheme. She called it “a shameful abuse of power!”.

The NDFP Negotiating Panel and its Consultants express their solidarity with the family, relatives and friends of former President Corazon Aquino in their time of mourning and grief and wish them much strength and courage.

(Sgd.) Luis G. Jalandoni
Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel

(Sgd.)Fidel V. Agcaoili
Vice-Chairperson, NDFP Negotisting Panel

(Sgd.) Ms. Julieta de Lima – Sison
Member, NDFP Negotiating Panel

(Sgd.) Coni K. Ledesma
Member, NDFP Negotiating Panel

(Sgd.) Asterio B. Palima
Member, NDFP Negotiating Panel

(Sgd.) Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant

(Sgd.) Atty. Romeo T. Capulong
Senior Legal Adviser

(Sgd.) Vicente Ladlad
Political Consultant

(Sgd.) Dan Borjal

(Sgd.) Randall Echanis

(Sgd.) Rafael Baylosis