Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: January 2010

there is another trend of repression in the Philippines by the means of forced disappearances.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Did you know?“, posted with vodpod

In 2005 Filipino-Americans has showed their concern on the rise of political killings that was happening in the Philippines.

The U.S. Military joined forces of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to do anti-terrorists exercises in the Philippines because of the declaration of being the 2nd front for terrorism. With the Balikatan exercises the U.S. will give a few million dollars to the Philippines government for hosting these counter insurgence programs.

These programs has produced a large amount of causalities of innocent victims: students, teacher, lawyers, activists, peasants and more. Noticing the increase of political killings, Filipinos and  Filipino-Americans  took action by holding a showcase that brought awareness to their peers that these killings are being sponsored by the U.S. government. A few thousand of people took action by signing petitions and sending it to the senators and congressmen.

With the raise of concern from the American public the political killings slumped down.
After the decline of political killings dropped the new trend of state repression in the Philippines has  moved onto forced disappearances. Witnesses have seen people being snatched away by men heavily armed in black with masks on.

The disappearance of Jonas Burgos, son of Joe Burgos a journalist during the Martial Law Era, brought out International Concerns when Edith Burgos, his mother, did a speaking tour in the U.S. a few years ago.

Currently, there has been a small spike in political killings with the recent count of 1,118 Political Killings and 204 forcibly disappeared.

The Amputuan massacre of journalists and innocent civilians has brought President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to lower a curtain of Martial Law on Maguindanao.  The history of martial law in the Philippines brought a lot of casualties. Thousands for Filipinos and Fil-Ams has expressed their concern that lots of people could lose a lot, especially if the whole country goes into martial law. The raising of martial law brought forward a coalition called NEVER AGAIN TO MARTIAL LAW.

Many Filipinos and Filipino-Americans still keep an open eye  out for human rights violations that are happening in the Philippines. Artists both in the Philippines and in the U.S. has organized an artshow called Factsheet. The art pieces highlight a few of the human rights cases that KARAPATAN has filed.

Advertisements

A peep of my submission  for Factsheet art show. Come through, check out the dope pieces from the Philippines and here, and learn something new!!!

The FACT SHEET exhibit is a collection of the piece reflects a few of the endless cases of human rights violations in the Philippines. Each of the pieces are based on Fact Sheets that contain important information on these cases. Artists’ ARREST in collaboration with the KARAPATAN (RIGHT) collected works from artists as part of CineVeritas 2008.

Currently, the  FACT SHEET exhibit has crossed the Pacific Ocean  and presenting  30 posters about human rights violations in the Philippines. It is inspired by Bay Area’s Social Serigraphy movement that started in the 1960s, 20 works and ideas of Artists’ ARREST, an art collective in the Philippines.  In addition 10 pieces from Kwatro Kanto collective, Lainerz, KA68, and others artists from the U.S.  The exhibition will show how art can be used as a social practice by forming alliances and mobilizations, from a single person to an entire nation.

Media Contact: Lian Ladia, lian_ladia@yahoo.com

MHF Contact: DiAnne Bueno, dianne.bueno@manilatown.org

MHF: 415-777-1130, 415-399-9580

www.manilatown.org

Political Poster Exhibition on Human Rights at Manilatown

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – San Francisco – January 11, 2010

EVENT: Manilatown Heritage Foundation (MHF), a Filipino American community arts organization based in San Francisco, will host “FACTSHEET: Activism is Not a Crime,” an exhibition of 30 posters by artists in the U.S. and the Philippines about human rights violations in the Philippines, curated by Lian Ladia and Con Cabrera and co-presented with SF Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines.

WHEN: Exhibit runs from February 6-April 24, 2010

Opening reception: Saturday, February 6, 4-6  PM, with live performances and special guest,  Marie Hilo from KARAPATAN, a human rights organization in the Philippines. FREE, donations appreciated

Film & Discussion: Saturday, March 27, 4-6 PM

Film shorts about human rights in the Philippines from the Southern Tagalog Exposure, followed by a panel discussion with Bay Area community organizers. $5-$10, no one turned away for lack of funds

Closing Reception: Saturday, April 24, 4-6 PM

FREE, donations appreciated

WHERE: International Hotel Manilatown Center, 868 Kearny Street (and Jackson), SF

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION: “FACTSHEET: Activism is Not a Crime,” showcases 30 posters by artists in the U.S. and the Philippines about human rights violations in the Philippines. It is inspired by Bay Area’s Social Serigraphy movement that started in the 1960s, as well as by the works and ideas of Artist Arrest, an art collective in the Philippines. FACTSHEET shows how art can be used as a social practice to form alliances and mobilize, from a single person to an entire nation.

ABOUT MANILATOWN HERITAGE FOUNDATION: The Manilatown Heritage Foundation is a non-profit community-based organization formed in 1994 and incorporated in 1998, to advocate for the rebuilding of the International Hotel (I-Hotel) and the preservation of the Filipino legacy in the San Francisco Bay Area. Its mission is to promote social and economic justice for Filipinos in America by preserving our history, advocating for equal access, and advancing our arts and culture. The I-Hotel was the last vestige of a vibrant 10-block area known as Manilatown. Manilatown Heritage Foundation emerged out of the struggle to defend the tenants’ rights to their homes and to preserve the Manilatown District. 28 years after the brutal eviction of the tenants, the new International Hotel Senior Housing opened its doors in August 2005. The Manilatown Center has now come alive with exhibits, weekly events and activities.

###

News Release

December 13, 2009


Reference: Atty. Arnedo Valera, Never Again to Martial Law (NAML), email: neveragaintomartiallaw@gmail.com


US COALITION AGAINST MARTIAL LAW CLAIMS VICTORY WITH LIFTING OF PROCLAMATION 1959 AND VOWS TO PURSUE ALL DEMANDS


Never Again to Martial Law (NAML), a US coalition launched on Human Rights Day opposing martial law in Maguindanao, is calling the lifting of Proclamation 1959 a victory for all those who condemned President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s declaration. NAML will continue to build its network on the ground nationally to call for a full restoration of civilian authority and the removal of all vestiges of martial rule in Maguindanao and other parts of the Philippines.

NAML believes the building pressure in the Philippines and internationally on Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) to lift martial law played a part in her decision.

“The lifting of Proclamation 1959 is a way for GMA to save face. International awareness about GMA’s arming of her warlord allies and the illegality of her declaration of martial law is growing. She may have lifted martial law to avoid embarrassment and questions at the upcoming Copenhagen conference and other international fora,” said Dr. Dante Simbulan, an NAML convenor and former political prisoner under Marcos.

In addition, NAML will remain on guard, preparing for the possibility of the re-imposition of martial law in Maguindanao or in other parts of the Philippines. “We believe GMA may have declared martial law to ‘test the tolerance,’ so to speak, of the Filipino people and the international community for it. For all we know, we could see it re-emerge in another form in the future. We must remember Marcos also lifted martial law temporarily in 1981 around the visit of the Pope to the Philippines,” said Atty. Arnedo Valera, international human rights lawyer.

NAML convenors    will also focus efforts on ensuring a clean and honest elections throughout the Philippines in May 2010 and lobbying within the US given the attention drawn to the Arroyo administration’s practice of arming “death squads.”

According to Professor Ligaya McGovern of Indiana University, “We must remember that with or without martial law, there exists a climate of repression and impunity in the Philippines that allows for gruesome acts like the Maguindanao massacre to occur. We will continue to do what is needed to stop human rights violations and to achieve justice for the victims of the massacre and all other victims of human rights in the Philippines.”

NAML will continue to generate signatures on its petition and to build local NAML chapters.

To view the petition, go to http://www.gopetition.com/online/32771.html

“Unless we take steps to address the root problems of our society, more young people will follow Kemberly’s footsteps in the days to come”

— From a tribute of the League of Filipino Students (Lanao) to Kemberly Jul Luna who died in Decmber 2009 in Bukidnon

IN MEMORY OF KEMBERLY JUL LUNA:  ISKOLAR NG BAYAN, FREEDOM FIGHTER

January 4, 2010


“Umaalis ang mga anak upang habulin ang kanilang mga pangarap, at malao’t madali, maraming magulang ang tumutunton sa duguang bakas ng kanilang mga anak…upang sunduin ang kanilang bangkay at iuwi ang pinakadakilang katibayan ng kanilang pagkatao.” – Lualhati Bautista

We, from the League of Filipino Students (LFS) and the Student Alliance for the Advancement of Democratic Rights (STAND) in MSU-IIT, express our utmost grief and sorrow over the death of our beloved comrade Kemberly Jul Luna.

Kemberly, or “Kimay,” as she was known to her friends and comrades, was an AB English student in MSU-IIT. Known for her beauty and intellect, Kimay showed a lot of talent and  gained many friends inside and outside of the school . She was a high school valedictorian and participated in many academic and cultural events. She was, for a time, a member of MSU-IIT’s Kalimulan, a cultural dance group.

She was also an active member of the Catholic Center Campus Ministry  where she became a leader of the Educational Committee. There, amidst the daily masses, boarding house meetings and other activities, she concluded that faith without action is dead. She always sought for ways to show that her Christian faith will not be confined to empty words and prayers, but will be brought out to the real world and be coupled by relevant action based on concrete conditions. She believed that faith should not be a lifeless dogma. She believed that just like Jesus, one must bring faith to serving the people— without thought of oneself. And just like Jesus, to die in service of the poor and oppressed.

She joined LFS in early 2008 and was an active participant in the League’s many activities, including the National Interfaith Humanitarian Mission (NIHM) of October 2008 in the face of humanitarian crises plaguing the war-stricken Moroland. She was part of the local secretariat and headed the area preparation committee in Poona Piagapo, one of the target municipalities for the Mission. Daring as always, Kimay did not hesitate entering the war-torn village of Tagoranao to uncover the effects of indiscriminate aerial bombing and militarization in the area. She also convinced one of the victims to make a testimony openly on the events in the affected areas in Lanao.

She actively joined the “No to All-Out War” campaign and various other campaigns, including the campaign against US intervention in the country and militarization of peasant and Moro communities.


At the opening of the first semester, she was chosen as the ad hoc chairperson of STAND-IIT. From then on she brought the cry of the youth and student sector in classroom and group discussions and out to the streets in rallies where she acted as STAND-IIT’s official spokesperson.

Kemberly was a very good example to her comrades and to the people around her. She showed youthful fervor and gave her heart to everything she did inside the organization. As an ordinary student, she was once quite a heavy drinker and a late riser, but when after she joined the League, she showed exemplary effort to remould herself  and do away with her old habits. She shed herself off of all the petty-bourgeois individualism.

At the opening of the second semester, we found out that she did not enroll. Later, she requested to be relieved as STAND-IIT chairperson, saying that she would stop school and do full-time peasant organizing work with KASAMA-Bukidnon, a province-wide peasant organization. She stood firm with her decision, saying she would like to do more in service of the poor, and that she could only do that in the countryside, where the majority of the poorest people live. On January 2009, after a short Christmas visit to her family in Surigao, Kemberly went off to Bukidnon to start her community work. She promised however that she would maintain correspondence with us.

On August 2009, we received a letter from her saying that she left KASAMA-Bukidnon but did not say where she went to and that she is happy where she was at that time, and that she has learned to love the peasant masses more with each day she lives with them. Kimay also happily shared to us her experiences in the peasant communities, from helping the peasants harvest corn to teaching them to read and write and do a little arithmetic, since literacy in the area is extremely low. She was also known to the people in the community as a health worker, often called as “Ma’am Nurse.”

Kimay is a true “iskolar ng bayan,” who did not waste the people’s tax money spent for her education only for personal ambitions, but used her time, talent and intellect in service of the people. She traded her comfortable life of night parties and hangovers for the cold, harsh and mosquito-ridden mountains of Bukidnon because she knew that she was on the right path.

In mid-December last year, we learned that Kemberly was missing through a report from Karapatan-Bukidnon Chapter, a human rights organization. A number of LFS and STAND-IIT members went to Bukidnon to join the search. We searched for her in the camp of the 403rd Inf Bde, 4th ID, PA but the officials of the brigade prevented us from entering the camp and denied that Kemberly was in their hands. During the middle of the search however, we learned that Kemberly died in an encounter with elements of the Philippine Army in Sitio Bulacao, Brgy. Concepcion, Valencia City. She was a member of the New People’s Army (NPA).


We found Kimay’s corpse lying with a few others in the middle of the forest of Bulacao, unattended by the state forces who were bound by agreement to respect the casualties of war, combatant or not.

But Kimay died an honorable death. She died because she fought for what she believed in until the very last minute of her life. She chose the path of armed struggle, firmly believing that there is no greater form of struggle to advance the interests of the toiling masses.

She broke the stereotype that the New People’s Army is a pack of delinquents— of tramps who lack a better future.

We salute Kimay for her determination. She was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice— all for the interest of the people without thinking of herself. She has proven that this rotten social system breeds unrest and many of the younger generation long for a better society that is based on social justice. This system pushes many of our youth to take up arms to achieve the national democratic goal. We believe that her death poses a challenge to all of us— that unless we take steps to address the root problems of our society, more and more young people will follow Kemberly’s footsteps in the days to come.

We also salute her parents, who were in deep pain, but calmly accepted her fate. They respected her decision to choose the path less traveled.

The League of Filipino Students and STAND-IIT vow to pursue the national democratic struggle, not just because this is precious to Kemberly, but because we believe in its relevance in answering today’s basic social problems. We stand firm, as Kimay did, that a true people’s scholar should not confine himself/herself inside the four walls of the classroom and study empty theories on the chalkboard. A true scholar uses his/her talents and intellect to serve the studentry, as well as the broad masses of the people. A true scholar like Kemberly never allows one;s schooling to interfere with one’s education.

Long live the memory of Kemberly Jul Luna!

Long live the national democratic struggle!