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Category Archives: Petition/Actions

Bayan Muna Partylist provincial chairperson & elected Municipal Official shot to death in Aklan, Panay, Philippines

UA No: 2010-07-01

UA Date                     :           6 July 2010

UA Case                     :           Assassination, Violation against Children’s Rights to Protection or

Safety by the State or its Agents, Threat/Harassment/Intimidation

Victim/s                      :           Assassination

Fernando Baldomero

  • 61 years old, male, married with children
  • A resident of Brgy. Sta. Cruz, Biga-a, Lezo, Aklan, Philippines
  • 2nd Termer Municipal Councilor of Lezo, Aklan
  • Provincial Chairperson, Bayan Muna Partylist
  • Provincial Coordinator, Makabayan Coalition-Aklan
  • Member, Society of Ex-detainees for Liberation, against Detention and for Amnesty (SELDA)

Threat/Harassment/Intimidation, Violation against Children’s Rights to Protection or Safety by the State or its Agents

Karl Philip Baldomero

  • 12 years old, male
  • Son of Fernando

Place of Incident        :           Brgy. Estancia, Kalibo, Aklan

Date of Incident         :           July 5, 2010 at around 6:30 AM

Alleged Perpetrator(s):         two unidentified armed men believed to be military elements

Account of the Incident:

At around 6:30 AM, Fernando Baldomero was in front of his rented house in Brgy. Estancia, Kalibo boarding his motorcycle with his 12-year old son on their way to school when two medium built men in

a black motorcycle stopped in front of them.  The backrider who was wearing a black jacket, a helmet and a pair of sunglasses that completely covered his face disembarked, and using a handgun, started shooting the victim at close range in front of his terrified son.  The driver was wearing a white shirt and a pair of denim pants and had no covering over his face.  Witnesses noticed that there was a long firearm at the back of the driver.

Baldomero suffered two gunshot wounds to the head which pierced through his helmet and one to the neck.  The assailants left soon after.  Witnesses even tried to run after them but they drove very fast.  The victim was immediately brought to the Kalibo Provincial Hospital but he was pronounced dead-on-arrival.

Baldomero’s son, Karl Philip, was also immediately brought to the doctor because he was severely traumatized by the incident.

It can be recalled that during the 2010 election campaign period, two men on board a motorcycle with no license plate lobbed grenades at the Baldomero ancestral house in Brgy. Sta. Cruz Biga-a, Lezo, Aklan on 19 March 2010.  One of the grenades landed and exploded in the kitchen located at the rear part of the house, while the other one landed inside the main part of the house where Fernando’s 92-year old father Ramon was preparing feeds for his chicken.  Fortunately, the second grenade did not explode.

In 2005, while Fernando Baldomero served as a barangay (village) councilor in Lezo, he was arrested and detained because the military and the police linked him with a unit of the New People’s Army (NPA) and charged him with the alleged crime committed by the rebel group in Guimbal, Iloilo and San Remigio, Antique.  He was cleared from both charges and was later released.

He was again slapped with two trumped up charges by the military in connection with NPA activities in Tubungan, Iloilo but they two were dismissed at the Provincial Prosecutor level.

Fernando Baldomero was a political detainee in the 80s tagged by the military as a high-ranking official of the NPA.  After his release, he settled in his hometown in Lezo.

Recommended Action:

Send letters, emails or fax messages calling for:

  1. The immediate formation of an independent fact-finding and investigation team composed of representatives

from human rights groups, the Church, local government, and the Commission on Human Rights that

will look into the assassination of Fernando Baldomero, the Violation against Children’s Rights to

Protection or Safety by the State or its Agents and the Threat/Harassment/Intimidation of Karl Philip Baldomero;

  1. The arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators of the above mentioned crime/s;
  1. The military to stop the labeling and targeting of human rights defenders as “members of front organizations of the communists” and “enemies of the state.”
  2. The Philippine Government to withdraw its counterinsurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya (Operation Freedom Watch).

You may send your communications to:

H.E. Benigno C. Aquino III

President of the Republic of the Philippines

Malacañang Palace,

JP Laurel St., San Miguel

Manila, Philippines

Voice: (+632) 564 1451 to 80

Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3968

E-mail:

Sec. Teresita Quintos-Deles

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process

Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP)

7th Floor Agustin Building I

Emerald Avenue

Pasig City 1605

Voice:+63 (2) 636 0701 to 066

Fax:+63 (2) 638 2216

E-Mail Address: osec@opapp.gov.ph

Ret. Lt. Gen. Voltaire T. Gazmin

Secretary, Department of National Defense

Room 301 DND Building, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo,

E. de los Santos Avenue, Quezon City

Voice:+63(2) 911-9281 / 911-0488

Fax:+63(2) 911 6213

Email: osnd@philonline.com

Atty. Leila De Lima

Secretary, Department of Justice

Padre Faura St., Manila

Direct Line 521-8344; 5213721

Trunkline  523-84-81 loc.214

Fax: (+632) 521-1614

Email:  soj@doj.gov.ph

Acting Chairperson Cecilia Rachel V. Quisumbing

Commission on Human Rights

SAAC Bldg., UP Complex

Commonwealth Avenue

Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines

Voice: (+632) 928-5655, 926-6188

Fax: (+632) 929 0102

Email:  coco.chrp@gmail.com,

Please send us a copy of your email/mail/fax to the above-named government officials, to our address below.

URGENT ACTION Prepared by:

KARAPATAN (Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights)

National Office

2/F Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin cor Matatag Sts., Brgy. Central, Diliman, Quezon City 1100 PHILIPPINES

Voice/Fax: (+632) 435 4146

Email: urgentaction@karapatan.org

Website: http://www.karapatan.org

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Dear friends and fellow human rights watchers,

Providing health care for the urban poor is NOT a crime, but for the Morong 43  it is… San Francisco Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (SFCHRP) is for your help by clicking this link http://www.petitiononline.com/Free43 and signing this petition to FREE the Morong 43 Health Care Workers that are being illegally detained and tortured by the Philippine Military.

However, even in detention they still provide medical services for other political prisoners whom are detained with them.

Please email us your letters of support for the 43 health care workers to sfchrp@yahoo.com

Thank you SO MUCH for your support,

Michael “artivista” Luat

Chair of SFCHRP


Picture

Dr. Alex Montes and patient
We need money for healthcare and education! So why is the US sending over $30 million taxpayer dollars each year to arrest, jail and torture health care workers and other innocent civilians in the Philippines?

Every year, the US sends tens of millions of dollars in military aid to the Philippines–and it’s added up to a whopping $1 billion US taxpayer dollars since 1999.  What has been the result? Record-high numbers of human rights violations have been committed against innocent civilians, including: 1,118 killings  • 1,026 cases of torture • 204 forced disappearances • 1,983 illegal arrests. Who is perpetrating these human rights violations?  Reports by the United Nations, Amnesty International, and KARAPATAN all conclude that the Philippine military, police and paramilitary units are the perpetrators, and are targeting pastors, teachers, union leaders, students, lawyers, journalists, healthcare workers, artists and others whose only “crime” is voicing criticism of the government for neglecting and exploiting the Filipino people. They are being arrested, tortured and killed for doing what the government should be doing–serving the poor and oppressed.

The arrest, detention and torture of 43 healthcare workers is the latest outrageous case of human rights abuse. On Saturday, Feb. 6, the Philippine military and police used a bogus search warrant to raid a First Responders healthcare skills training in Rizal, where they violently arrested and jailed 43 community healthcare workers, including two renowned doctors, a nurse, and midwives. The military has inflicted physical and psychological torture on the healthcare workers, including: sleep deprivation, prolonged tactical interrogation with death threats, 36+ hours of being blindfolded and handcuffed, solitary confinement, and denial of legal counsel and medical treatment.  The health workers are still being held in jail on trumped up charges of being rebels, and the military has even defied a Supreme Court order to produce the 43 health workers at a court hearing.

The 43 health workers and doctors were undergoing health training to serve the vast majority of Filipino people who do not have access to healthcare. They should be treated like heroes!  But instead, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her military are persecuting them.

You can help.  Join the growing movement of grassroots organizations, churches, individuals, and labor organizations and unions such as the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), National Nurses United (NNU), and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) to demand the release of the 43 healthcare workers.

Sign the petition at http://www.PetitionOnline.com/Free43/petition.html so you can
1.    Tell Congress and the Obama administration to end all US military aid to the Philippines. No US tax dollars for torture!
2.    Tell President Arroyo to Free the 43 health care workers and end all human rights violations being committed by her military.

For more info: www.bayan.ph/freethe43.php or http://freethehealthworkers.blogspot.com or www.bayanusa.org.

Download printable


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


Protesters surround Mikey Arroyo’s U.S. house


By Henni Espinosa, North America News Bureau | 09/05/2009 8:58 AM

FOSTER CITY, CA—Philippine Congressman Mikey Arroyo’s house had some very angry visitors this morning.

Filipino-American activists, chanting “Shame on you, you got caught!” staged a protest outside the home that is situated in the upscale planned community.  They say they are disgusted that Arroyo, son of Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, bought the $1.3 million home and failed to declare it as part of his real estate assets.

“Of course there should be a clear investigation of how he got his wealth, where he is investing it,” said Terry Valen, chair of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns.  “It’s clear that this is not coming from his salary as a Philippine congressman.”

The protesters say they are not surprised that another Arroyo property in the Bay Area has been exposed.

“In the past, we’ve heard of allegations of the Arroyos trying to hide other million-dollar homes in San Francisco.  We know that this is a pattern of the Arroyos, hiding their ill-gotten wealth,” said Racquel Redondiez, chair of Gabriela USA.

What is more disturbing for the protesters is that Arroyo insists the Foster City house is owned by a company, when county records show that his wife is listed as the house’s only owner.

“It just further exposes the pattern of cover-up.  If you’re not hiding anything, why would you have to cover it up and deny?” Redondiez said.

The protesters say Arroyo should come clean about the source of his ballooned wealth.  Arroyo’s net worth jumped from 5 million pesos in 2002, to 99 million pesos in 2008.

“We’re just here to express our outrage that Congressman Arroyo has all the money to spend on a million-dollar home in Foster City while our people in the Philippines only live on less than a dollar a day,” said Jack de Jesus, Deputy Secretary of Bayan USA.

The protesters call on the Philippine and U.S. government to investigate the source of Arroyo’s wealth before this Foster City house is sold.

“If they (the Arroyos) get paid for the house, then the money goes back into their accounts and they can do whatever they want with it.  Who knows what they’re going to do next?  But this could be the money of taxpayers not just in the Philippines, but also for us here in the U.S.,” said Valen.

The protesters made efforts to deter potential buyers by putting up warning signs on the sidewalks.

Neighbors have mixed reactions.  A Filipino neighbor who refused to be identified said the Arroyos don’t bother him, because they are never around.  Allen Leader, another neighbor of the house, wants the Arroyo family to come clean about the home to the Filipino people so the protests will end in Foster City.

as of 09/05/2009 8:58 AM

1655 Beach Park Blvd

bought with unexplained wealth by Mikey Arroyo

Please forward widely…

CALIFORNIA FILIPINO-AMERICAN WOMEN EXPRESS OUTRAGE AT GOVERNOR’S 100% CUT ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROGRAMS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 5, 2009

Reference: Marisa Mariano, Chair, Babae-San Francisco

babaesf@gmail.com

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger cut $489 million from the state budget passed last week by the state legislature, cuts which were directed primarily towards the state’s health and human service programs. Filipina-American women of Babae, the San Francisco chapter of GABRIELA USA, are especially shocked and outraged at Schwarzenegger’s elimination of the entire state’s funding support for California’s crucial Domestic Violence Programs. Domestic violence shelters were already preparing for the 20% funding cut proposed by the state legislature, but will now be forced to close their doors entirely or scramble to seek new sources of funding. Affecting the most vulnerable citizens of the state, battered women and children will be left with no place to go as the $20.4 million in cuts affects 94 domestic violence shelters throughout California. These shelters not only offer a safe space for women and children escaping and seeking protection from their abusers, but also provide vital services to help rebuild their lives. Shelters across the state are now being forced to lay off staff and eliminate services including their emergency shelter, transitional housing, legal advocacy, and counseling programs, as well as those which serve the young victims of abuse, such as child counseling and support groups. It is equally important to remember that these broad cuts do not only affect these much needed shelters, but also affect the valuable domestic violence programs which focus on community education, advocacy, and prevention.

“We are already experiencing deep cuts for students, children, the elderly, the disabled, the poor and the working poor throughout California, but now, if Schwarzenegger’s budget cuts are allowed to stand, survivors of violence will not have a place to turn for help and lives will inevitably be lost,” said Marisa Mariano, Babae-San Francisco Chairperson. For many communities, the budget cut coincides with an increase in reported cases of domestic violence. The stress of job loss, foreclosures, and car repossessions stemming from the current economic crisis can raise tension in vulnerable homes, leading to domestic violence. The city of Fresno has seen a 30% rise in cases of domestic violence over the past four months. “Domestic violence has been and continues to be a problem in the Filipino community. We’ve lost Marisa Corpuz and Claire Joyce Tempongko in the last few years in the city of San Francisco alone, to domestic violence and without state support and culturally relevant resources, more Filipinas will fall victim to violence.”

Babae-San Francisco stands together with domestic violence shelters, organizations, and others throughout California to protest the governor’s action and call on the state legislature to do everything in its power to restore funding to domestic violence programs and other vital health services for the most vulnerable Californians.

We urge you to take action and:

1.) Call the Governor’s office at 916-445-2841 and express your concern.

2.) Use this easy action alert tool to send a message to the Governor and your state legislators: http://www.capwiz.com/sfvo/issues/alert/?alertid=13807706&type=ML

3.) Forward this message to your family and friends and urge them to call or write the Governer and their state legislators.

====================

Babae (Tagalog for “woman”) is a grassroots women’s organization that serves to address the rights and welfare of Filipinas in the San Francisco Bay Area. We strive to learn about our history and culture in the Philippines and how it connects to our conditions as Filipinas in the United States. We mobilize and organize around Pinay issues to strengthen our legacy as empowered Filipina women in solidarity with National Democracy in the Philippines and international women’s emancipation. For more information, please visit http://www.babaesf.org.

We are a proud member organization of GABRIELA-USA, the first overseas chapter of GABRIELA Philippines, with Pinay Sa Seattle in Seattle, SiGAw in Los Angeles, and FiRe in New York.

Babae is a member of BAYAN-USA, an alliance of progressive Filipino groups in the U.S. representing organizations of students, scholars, women, workers, and youth. To learn more about BAYAN, please visit http://bayanusa.org

DEMOCRACY NOW – Headlines for July 30, 2009

Obama Urged to Address Human Rights in Arroyo Meeting

http://www.democracynow.org/2009/7/30/headlines#9

President Obama is scheduled to host President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
of the Philippines today at the White House. Filipino activists are
calling on President Obama to raise human rights concerns, including
torture and abductions by government forces. Melissa Roxas, a United
States citizen of Filipino descent, recently spoke out about her
kidnapping by alleged Filipino soldiers.

Melissa Roxas: “I was never left alone. There were always men watching
me. I was constantly interrogated, and during the interrogations, they
would ask me repeatedly if I knew why I was there. And I was told by
them that I was abducted because I was a member of the CPP-NPA
[Communist Party of the Philippines New People’s Army]. I also
repeatedly told them that I have rights and that I demanded for my
lawyer. I told them that I was just a writer and a volunteer. They
told me that even if a year passes, I would never see a lawyer, that
in there I had no rights. Although it is still very difficult to talk
about the incident, I wanted to tell the truth about what happened to
me, because I don’t want what happened to me to happen to anyone else
ever again. I want the world to know what happened, because the
Philippine government and military should not get away with what they
did to me, to Juanito, to John Edward. And they cannot get away with
what they did to many other people.”

The Obama-Arroyo meeting comes as Congress begins debate on extending
US military aid to the Philippines. Advocates have called for the
funding to be cut in half and for increased requirements on protecting
human rights.

**********
The Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines urges you
to send a letter to President Obama today.

Email the White House:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/CONTACT/

Submit your letter TODAY!

Justice for Melissa Roxas and all victims of human rights violations
in the Philippines!
______________________________

_____________________________________________
________________________
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama,

Before you meet with Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo at
the White House on July 30, I urge you to look into the case of
Melissa Roxas, a U.S. citizen and survivor of torture in the
Philippines.  I urge you to include human rights in the Philippines
and Melissa Roxas as an integral portion of your meeting with
President Arroyo. Please watch this video before you meet with her on
Thursday.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFANG4L8d1Y

I am deeply concerned for the well-being of U.S. citizen, Melissa
Roxas, a survivor of torture. On May 19, 2009, she was abducted while
doing community health work in the Philippines. She has spoken out
publicly in Los Angeles and is testifying in the Philippines right now
about her traumatic experience of being abducted and tortured for
almost one week. I know you share this concern. On the U.N.
International Day in Support of Torture Victims, you declared,
“Torture is contrary to the founding documents of our country and the
fundamental values of our people. The U.S. must stand against torture
wherever it takes place.”

With your support, we can move another step closer to demanding
justice for Melissa Roxas by way of a criminal investigation, arrest
and prosecution of the parties responsible for her abduction and
torture.

Unfortunately, Melissa is one of thousands of victims of human right
violations in the Philippines. She is among the very few survivors of
abduction, and I admire her courage to speak out so that we will know
the truth and take a stand for justice.

With your support, we can move another step closer to ensuring that no
more US tax-payers’ dollars are being used to enable state-sponsored
human rights violations in the Philippines.

During your Inaugural Speech, you said, “To those who cling to power
through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that
you are on the wrong side of history.”

Please take a stand for justice and do not hesitate to defend and
demand justice for our sister, Melissa, when you meet with President
Arroyo.

Sincerely,
_______________________________             _______________
Signature                                                      Date
_______________________________
Print Name

Join the Justice for Melissa Campaign and visit the website at
www.justiceformelissa.org for news, information, and updates. Find out
what you can do to support the Justice for Melissa Campaign today.

In solidarity,
Claire Oliveros
Chair, Portland CHRP

***************
Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (PCHRP) is an
organizing committee of Filipinos and allies working in solidarity to
advance the national democratic movement of the Philippines in the
U.S. PCHRP serves as an outlet for local, national, and international
urgent action alerts, media updates, and general information related
to human rights violations against Filipinos in the Philippines and
U.S.

PCHRP is a member of BAYAN USA, an alliance of progressive Filipino
groups in the U.S. representing organizations of students, scholars,
women, workers, and youth. As the only international chapter of Bagong
Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN-Philippines), BAYAN-USA serves as an
information bureau for the national democratic movement of the
Philippines and as a campaign center for anti-imperialist Filipinos in
the U.S.

www.portlandc…@gmail.com
www.bayanusa.org

**URGENT ACTION ALERT!**
* STAND AGAINST TORTURE ON JUNE 26, THE UN INTERNATIONAL DAY IN SUPPORT OF VICTIMS OF TORTURE


SIGN THE EMERGENCY ONLINE PETITION


*ASK THE US APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE TO CUT US MILITARY AID TO THE PHILIPPINES AND TO REQUIRE THE PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT TO FULLY COMPLY WITH INVESTIGATIONS INTO THE CASE OF MELISSA ROXAS!


June 26 is the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, a particularly significant day for those of us concerned about the continued use of this criminal act worldwide. Most recently, a US citizen of Filipino descent has fallen victim to this cruel and degrading act in the Philippines.
Her case is one of thousands of documented cases of torture, assassinations, kidnappings, and other forms of human rights violations that have gone uninvestigated and unresolved in the Philippines. Just last month the United Nations Committee Against Torture (UNCAT) expressed grave concern at the routine, widespread, and unpunished use of torture by military, police, and other state officials in their country report on the Philippines. As reported by United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings Philip Alston, in his 2007 report, although credible evidence points to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as the main culprits behind these human rights violations, they are protected by the Philippine government’s culture of impunity which allows them to roam free. The Philippine government denies any responsibility for and frequently attempts to cover up these human rights violations, as they are also attempting to do in the case of Melissa Roxas despite her sworn testimony about her experience.
The Philippines is one of the largest recipients of US military aid in Southeast Asia. This means US tax dollars are being used as resources by the AFP to continue to perpetrate these human rights violations against innocent civilians. As US taxpayers, we need to tell our government that we DO NOT want the blood of the Filipino people on our hands.
At present, the US Senate Appropriations Committee is in the process of shaping the next US military aid package to the Philippines, and could come out with a decision as early as mid-July. Our Senators and Representatives have an influence on how our tax dollars are spent abroad. They have a responsibility to represent our concerns about how US military aid is being used to commit—and cover up—human rights atrocities in the Philippines, and to express our desire that NOT 1 CENT of our tax dollars support human rights violations in the Philippines.
In addition, a request has been made of the Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee Patrick Leahy to introduce language into this year’s Appropriations bill that would require the Philippine military to full comply with the Writ of Amparo proceedings and any investigation into the case of Melissa Roxas. Please call your Senator/Representative to express your support for a thorough and impartial investigation into Melissa Roxas’ case.
SIGN THE EMERGENCY ONLINE PETITION
Below is a sample text you can use as an email, phone script, or fax to your member of Congress. You can also draft your own language.
*************************
(SAMPLE TEXT)
Dear Member of the US Appropriations Committee,
The recent abduction, detainment, and torture of an American, Melissa Roxas, in the Philippines last May has me extremely concerned about the US government’s financial allocations to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Roxas, 31, is US citizen of Filipino descent and human rights advocate who was in the middle of a medical relief mission in La Paz, Tarlac, when she and her two companions– Juanito Carabeo and John Edward Jandoc– were kidnapped on May 19th, 2009. In a sworn statement, Roxas describes being abducted by approximately 15 armed men, thrown in a van, handcuffed and blindfolded for six days, and dragged from jail cell to jail cell. She recounts being subjected to torture via asphyxiation using a doubled-up plastic bag, repeated beatings to the face and body, and having her head banged repeatedly against the wall by her interrogators. She was denied legal counsel despite her persistent requests. Roxas was dropped off near her relative’s house around 6:30 AM on May 25 and warned not to go to Karapatan, the human rights alliance that handles cases like hers. Her captors left her with a SIM card and phone, which one of her interrogators used to contact her after she was released.
Today, fortunately, Roxas is back safe in her hometown of Los Angeles with her family. Credible sources, including Roxas herself, believe the detainment took place in nearby Fort Magsaysay, a military camp near the town Roxas and her companions were abducted.
As my Senator or Representative, I urge you to remember Melissa and all who have suffered the epidemic of torture, kidnappings, and unlawful detainment at the hands of the Philippine military. I am concerned that US military aid may be providing the “ammunition” (in both a literal and figurative sense) being used to pursue unarmed civilians whom the Arroyo administration has tagged as “Communists.”
I urge you to keep in mind my strong support for a full, impartial investigation into Melissa’s abduction and torture by the Philippine government. I urge you to impress on the US Congress and especially the House and Senate Appropriations Committee that you belong to that *I do not want one cent of my tax dollars going to human rights abuses in the Philippines, and that the Philippine military must fully cooperate with the Writ of Amparo proceedings as well any investigation by the Commission on Human Rights into the case of Melissa Roxas. * I hope you will do everything in your power to ensure that the Philippine government cooperates to the fullest extent in resolving Melissa’s case and in stopping all human rights violations in the Philippines.
As my US Senator/Representative, I urge you to raise your voice on my behalf. Please be a voice of conscience and human rights when your committee and Congress as a whole decides on the next US military aid package to the Philippines. In these tough economic times, many government budget choices are hard. This one shouldn’t be. Our hard-earned tax dollars should be used towards the betterment of society and for public service, not for human rights violations overseas. Please be the change America needs and help the Congress achieve this.
I hope to receive a response from you outlining your position on the human rights crisis in the Philippines and on the case of Melissa Roxas.
Sincerely,

—–
SIGN THE EMERGENCY ONLINE PETITION

URGENT ACTION ALERT!
for California residents who care about human rights


EMAIL, FAX, AND/OR MAIL LETTERS TO SENATOR BARBARA BOXER TO ASK HER TO CUT US MILITARY AID TO THE PHILIPPINES AND REQUIRE THE PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT TO FULLY COMPLY WITH INVESTIGATIONS INTO THE CASE OF MELISSA ROXAS!

HELP ENSURE JUSTICE WILL BE SERVED FOR MELISSA ROXAS & ALL VICTIMS OF ABDUCTIONS AND TORTURE IN THE PHILIPPINES

The recent abduction, detention, and torture of a US citizen of Filipino descent, Melissa Roxas, is part of a violent epidemic of human rights violations plaguing the Philippines. There are thousands of documented cases of assassinations, kidnappings, torture, and other forms of human rights violations that have gone uninvestigated and therefore unresolved in the Philippines. As reported by United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings Philip Alston, in his 2007 report, evidence points to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as the main culprits behind these human rights violations, but they are protected by the Philippine government’s culture of impunity that allows them to roam free. The Philippine government denies any responsibility for and frequently attempts to cover up these human rights violations, as they are also attempting to do in the case of Melissa Roxas despite her sworn testimony about her experience.

The Philippines is one of the largest recipients of US military aid in Southeast Asia. This means US tax dollars are being used as resources by the AFP to continue to perpetrate these human rights violations against innocent civilians. As US taxpayers, we need to tell our government that we DO NOT want the blood of the Filipino people on our hands.

At present, the US Senate Appropriations Committee is in the process of shaping the next US military aid package to the Philippines, and could come out with a decision as early as mid-July. US Senator Barbara Boxer is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and has influence on how our tax dollars are spent abroad. As our Senator, she has a responsibility to represent our concerns about how US military aid is being used to commit—and cover up—human rights atrocities in the Philippines, and to tell her colleagues in the Senate Appropriations Committee that we DO NOT WANT 1 CENT of our tax dollars going to the Philippine military.

On, June 19, a request was made of the office of Senator Patrick Leahy, who chairs the State & Foreign Operations Sub-Committee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, to include language into this year’s Senate Appropriations bill that would require the Philippine military to fully comply with the Writ of Amparo proceedings and any investigation into the case of Melissa Roxas. In the past, Senator Barbara Boxer has been supportive of the Filipino American community’s call to end the human rights violations in the Philippines. On June 22, Senator Boxer’s staff told concerned community members that Senator Boxer is very concerned, but would like to hear from more people in order to strengthen her case to the Senate.


We must write Senator Barbara Boxer TODAY and THIS WEEK, to tell her that we want her to make sure the Senate Appropriations Committee does not grant funds to the Philippine military and pressures the Philippine government to comply with investigations into Melissa Roxas’ case.

Below is sample text you can use for your letter to Senator Boxer. You can also draft your own language.

Thank you for responding to this action alert. If you have questions or would like more information, contact Rhonda Ramiro, BAYAN-USA, at secgen@bayanusa.org.

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(SAMPLE LETTER)

Dear Senator Boxer:

The recent abduction, detainment, and torture of an American, Melissa Roxas, in the Philippines last May has me extremely concerned about the US government’s financial allocations to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Roxas, 31, is US citizen of Filipino descent and human rights advocate who was in the middle of a medical relief mission in La Paz, Tarlac, when she and her two companions– Juanito Carabeo and John Edward Jandoc– were kidnapped on May 19th, 2009. In a sworn statement, Roxas describes being abducted by approximately 15 armed men, thrown in a van, handcuffed and blindfolded for six days, and dragged from jail cell to jail cell. She recounts being subjected to torture via asphyxiation using a doubled-up plastic bag, repeated beatings to the face and body, and having her head banged repeatedly against the wall by her interrogators. She was denied legal counsel despite her persistent requests. Roxas was dropped off near her relative’s house around 6:30 AM on May 25 and warned not to go to Karapatan, the human rights alliance that handles cases like hers. Her captors left her with a SIM card and phone, which one of her interrogators used to contact her after she was released.

Today, fortunately, Roxas is back safe in her hometown of Los Angeles with her family. Credible sources, including Roxas herself, believe the detainment took place in nearby Fort Magsaysay, a military camp near the town Roxas and her companions were abducted.

As my US Senator and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I urge you to remember Melissa and all who have suffered the epidemic of torture, kidnappings, and unlawful detainment at the hands of the Philippine military. Please call Senator Leahy’s office to express your support for including specific language on Melissa’s case in the Senate Appropriations Bill. I am concerned that US military aid may be providing the “ammunition” (in both a literal and figurative sense) being used to pursue unarmed civilians whom the Arroyo administration has tagged as “Communists.”

I urge you to keep in mind my strong concerns regarding the lack of a full, impartial investigation into Melissa’s abduction and torture by the Philippine government. I urge you to impress on the US Senate and especially the Senate Appropriations Committee that I do not want one cent of my tax dollars going to the Philippine military, and that the Philippine military must fully cooperate with the Writ of Amparo proceedings as well any investigation by the Commission on Human Rights into the case of Melissa Roxas. I hope you will do everything in your power to ensure that the Philippine government cooperates to the fullest extent in resolving Melissa’s case and in stopping all human rights violations in the Philippines before any US aid is granted..


Senator Boxer, you are a leader in the Senate and a representative of the state where Melissa Roxas currently resides. Please be a voice of conscience and human rights when helping the Senate decide on the next US military aid package to the Philippines. In these tough economic times, many government budget choices are hard. This one shouldn’t be. Our hard-earned tax dollars should be used towards the betterment of society and for public service, not for human rights violations overseas. Please be the change America needs and help the Senate achieve this.

I hope to receive a response from you outlining your position on the human rights crisis in the Philippines and on the case of Melissa Roxas.

Sincerely,

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