Tattoos and body paint for freedom
Families to PNoy: Free
all political prisoners now!
On the fifth day of
fasting of political prisoners nationwide, victims organization
Hustisya marked their support for freedom in a different medium: their
This month’s Third
Saturday gathering, a monthly activity of victims of human rights
violations and their families and friends, Hustisya held “PIN(T)ALAYA:
Pinta para sa Paglaya ng mga Bilanggong Pulitikal,” a tattoo, face and
body painting session with invited artists and supporters of the
“According to many
historians, tattooing in the
is a tribal form of rank and accomplishments in pre-colonial times.
Tattooos in contemporary times meant defining one’s identity. Now, we
put a different meaning on it. We tattoo to protest,” said Cristina
Guevarra, Hustisya secretary general.
According to Karapatan,
there are currently 360 political prisoners detained in various
detention centers in the country. Demanding freedom through a general,
unconditional and omnibus amnesty, the political prisoners will go on
fasting until September 21, when the nation commemorates Martial Law.
have been denied of justice from the time they were arbitrarily
arrested, charged with trumped up charges, detained and many even
suffering from torture. Their prolonged detention further denies them
of their rights,” Guevarra added.
The group said that as
the nation commemorates Martial Law, the group asked whether Pres.
Aquino is truly a son of a former political prisoner.
"Currently, there are
77 new political prisoners arrested under his term. He has not said
anything about the plea of political prisoners. We might need to make
him remember that he is son of a former political prisoner,” Guevarra
According to Hustisya,
not only the political prisoners themselves are “detained” but their
families as well.
Isaias and Liwayway
Acosta, both in their late 70s, have to travel all the way from Manila
to Calbayog, Eastern Samar each time they visit their son, Ericson
Acosta is a cultural
activist and writer who was arrested in February13, 2011and is charged
with a trumped-up case of illegal possession of explosives. Both his
parents have difficulty walking, and are likewise suffering from
different illnesses due to old age.
“Nais lamang nilang
makasama ang kanilang mga anak sa nalalabing panahon ng kanilang buhay,
ngunit lalo lamang itong pinaiikli sa patuloy na pagkakakulong ni
Ericson,” said Guevarra. (The elderly Acostas only want to spend
time with their children in their elderly years, and yet Ericson’s
continued detention only shortens this.)
to Karapatan’s documentation, out of the 360 political prisoners, 11
are elderly, 28 are sick and 30 are women.
The group further said
they are calling for the release of political prisoners since Aquino’s
Day 1. “There should be no waiting time for freedom that is long
overdue. For a president posing as somebody continuing the legacy of
his parents who fought against a tyrant, we deserve more than
lipservice, we demand: Free them now!” Guevarra said.
forces should unite vs. moves to politically subdivide the country
By ANAD Partylist
“Now is the time for
all pro-democracy individuals and groups to unite and consolidate in
defense of our freedoms and democracy!”
This is the call
raised by the Alliance for Nationalism and Democracy (ANAD) Partylist
in response to the demand of the Maoist terrorist CPP-NPA-NDF to
establish a “Council for National Unity” instead of a coalition
government, as stated in CPP 5-year plan. “As I’ve said before, the
Council is no different from the coalition government they demanded
before. It’s still the same dog but with a new collar,” said ANAD Rep.
terrorists’ Council for National Unity resonates loudly and runs
parallel to the Bangsamoro substate demanded by the Moro Islamic
Liberation Front (MILF),” said ANAD Rep. Jun Alcover as he raised
fears against politically subdividing the constitutionally established
Republic of the Philippines in the name and disguise of seeking the
road towards peace.
sources revealed that the would-be establishment Council for National
Unity shall be composed of representatives from the MILF, the Maoist
terrorist CPP, and government in the national level. The same sources
told ANAD that in this set-up, allegedly already in the drawing boards
and firmed up by representatives of the MILF, CPP, and government, the
MILF will be in charge of Mindanao, and the Maoist terrorist CPP in
the Luzon and Visayas areas, while the government will retain over-all
supervision and control of the country.
“This alone sends
chilling signals down our spine! What will happen once the NPA, MILF
armed forces, and the AFP jointly is in-charge of our national
security concerns; and the NDF, the political component of the MILF,
and our country’s political leadership rubbing elbows with each
other?” the ANAD solon asked.
pro-democracy and freedom loving Filipinos that the Maoist terrorists
CPP-NPA-NDF remains committed in pursuing their violent national
democratic revolution, and the MILF uncompromising in their demand to
have their own Bangsamoro identity and governance, “It seems that the
PNoy administration is in the bind. Reports say that the national
leadership is pursuing this course of action to offset PNoy’s waning
popularity due to the worsening economic conditions of the country,”
Rep. Alcover explained.
“Because of this ANAD
decided to reach out to all sectors: government, youth, academe, and
even local government units, throughout the country, to rally and
unite freedom loving Filipinos against those who seek the destruction
of our freedoms and democratic ideals and institutions,” he added.
“I call on the Armed
Forces of the Philippines, the Philippines National Police, and our
political leaders who still have the flames of peace, freedom, and
democracy burning deep inside them, to stand up in defense of our
constitution and territorial sovereignty. Blind subservience to our
national leaders’ selfish political and vested interests could heavily
bear against our country and people’s interest,” Rep. Alcover
SELDA to Sara Duterte:
political prisoners are not criminals
DAVAO CITY – An
organization of former political detainees is disappointed with the
statement of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte about the political
prisoners saying it was a misinformed statement and uncalled for.
It can be recalled
that the city mayor commented in an interview that political prisoner
are incarcerated because of crimes they committed and not for
“Contrary to the
statement of the young Duterte, the 360 political prisoners, including
the detained National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace
panel consultants, are falsely charged with common crimes and that
they're actually incarcerated due to their political convictions”,
said Fe Salino, Secretary General of SELDA-SMR.
on political prisoners disappointed us because it seems that she is
denying the existence of the raging civil war and the government's
compliance to human rights instruments and international humanitarian
Salino revealed that
majority of political detainees were unarmed but politically-active
farmers and that most of them were picked up by soldiers and presented
“It seems like we are
still living in the dark days of Martial Law. Political prisoners are
either innocent civilians or members of progressive organizations who
were victims of illegal and/or arbitrary arrests due to their
opposition to government's anti-people policies or they were
wrongfully accused as supporters or member of the New People’s Army (NPA)”,
The government is
violating the Hernandez Doctrine which became part of the Philippine
jurisprudence when, in 1956, the Supreme Court rule in the case of
People of the Philippines vs. Amado Hernandez, that a person who
commits a political offense could be charged with rebellion but not
with common crimes such as murder, arson, robbery, etc. It ruled that
the act of rebellion would already include and absorb these crimes.
During a forum with
NDFP Peace Panel Chair Luis Jalandoni earlier he claimed that the
arrest and detention of NDFP consultants violate the Joint Agreement
in Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), which was signed by the
Government of the Republic of the Philippines and NDFP on February 24,
1995. JASIG provides security and immunity from arrest of all those
listed as involved in the peace negotiations.
Salino added that most
political prisoners have been slapped with trumped-up criminal charges
even without Martial law.
that the call for a general, unconditional and omnibus amnesty
alongside the call for the release of all political prisoners and NPA
prisoners of war should be part of confidence-building measures that
provide a favorable atmosphere for the peace talks to continue.” she
NPA on the offensive
to punish Aquino regime's treachery in peace negotiations
September 15, 2011
Democratic Front-Eastern Visayas today lauded the New People's Army in
Western Samar for successfully raiding the police headquarters in
Hinabangan town last Sept. 12. “The NPA offensives in the region are
meant to punish the Aquino regime's treachery in peace negotiations
with the NDFP,” said Fr. Santiago Salas, NDF-EV spokesperson. “The
NDFP has been very patient, magnanimous and open to peace talks
despite years of the Philippine government's various insults, attacks
on the NDFP consultants, and the increasing exploitation and
oppression of the people by the reactionary ruling system. But it is
now a matter of principle and the revolutionary movement is sending
the signal to the Aquino regime that its treachery in peace
negotiations will not be taken sitting down.”
Fr. Salas also
corrected claims made by Aquino government officials in the region
that NPA attacks were against the peace process. “NPA offensives are
legitimate even in the context of ongoing peace negotiations, which
are still a long way from achieving a politically negotiated
settlement and deciding the disposition of the armed forces of both
sides. What the Aquino regime is actually irked at is its failure to
compel the immediate capitulation of the revolutionary movement or
trap it in indefinite ceasefire.
statements and hostile actions of the Aquino regime are the ones
inimical to the peace talks. The Aquino regime is refusing its
obligation to release the detained NDFP peace consultants, including
Eduardo Sarmiento who represents Eastern Visayas. The NDFP peace
consultants are being held hostage by a capricious regime that cannot
honor a simple safety and immunity agreement like the JASIG for those
involved in the peace talks. The NDFP consultants and more than 300
political prisoners languish in jail despite the appeals of peace and
human rights advocates, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the
and other concerned sectors.”
Fr. Salas added that
the unleashing of Oplan Bayanihan against the people has put the
Aquino regime's sincerity for peace negotiations under question.
“Oplan Bayanihan has resulted in military occupation of civilian
communities and the wholesale escalation of human rights violations.
In the three
Samar provinces, soldiers control entire villages and coerce local
governments to sanction their operations, in violation of
international humanitarian law. Civilians and their organizations are
harassed and accused of links to the NPA. This is true as well in
the Municipal Farmers Assocation of Carigara, a peasant organization
in the said town, recently denounced in the media the death threats
made by the notorious 19th IB against its members.”
spokesperson said the NPA will step up its offensives to defend the
people and advance the people's interests in light of the Aquino
regime's dismal handling of the peace talks. “The NPA is fighting for
the interests of the people of Eastern Visayas, who are presently
beleaguered with war and increasing poverty. Oplan Bayanihan is in
full swing and supported by a
US road project tied to “counterinsurgency” goals. The Aquino
regime is also pushing for large-scale foreign mining in the region.
Such realities cast doubt on the regime's sincerity for the peace
talks. The people are thus also reminded that peace is not served on a
silver platter. They must fight for their basic demands to be heard
and for a just and lasting peace.”
Gov’t to monitor
MALACAÑANG – The
Aquino administration is taking steps to ensure that profits generated
by mining companies translate into state revenues and that mining
benefits trickle down to the general public, Executive Secretary
Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. said on Wednesday.
In a speech at the
Mining Philippines 2011 Conference and Exhibition held in Pasay City,
Ochoa revealed the country’s intention to apply for compliance status
with the London-based Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI)
to help achieve the much-needed reforms in the mining industry.
EITI is a global
initiative that requires participating governments to publicly report
the revenues they receive from extractive industry companies and for
those companies to publicly report the revenues they pay to
government. This mechanism allows more transparency in revenue
“High on our agenda is
transparency in revenues derived from mining,” Ochoa said, as he
pointed out the need to determine how the mining sector contributes to
“Further reforms are
therefore needed to ensure that the acceptability of mining is
enhanced and its impact as a driver of economic growth is truly felt,”
Data from the
Department of Environment and Natural Resources show that mining
contributed P110 billion to the gross domestic product and generated
P12.5 billion in tax revenues, royalties and fees for the government
Ochoa said the
country’s EITI candidacy and subsequent membership is consistent with
the “vision of good governance” of the Aquino administration.
“It will be a strong
manifestation of transparency if the payments and revenues received by
the government from the development of the country’s mineral resources
and how these are utilized are made public,” Ochoa told the conference
attended mostly by industry players who comprise the Chamber of Mines
of the Philippines.
Secretary said that while the Mining Act of 1995 has put in place
environmental and safety nets to address mining concerns, efforts must
be stepped up for awareness and strict compliance of the law.
He also underscored
the need to strike a balance between mining and protecting the
environment and natural resources toward achieving enhanced social
acceptability of mining operations.
Aware that the
Philippine mining industry has been the subject of intense scrutiny by
various sectors, Ochoa called on industry players to overcome the
negative stigma attached to mining and to continue to work hard to
gain public acceptability.
“But done in a manner
that takes into consideration the importance of safeguarding the
environment, we know that mining can contribute significantly both to
sustained economic development and poverty reduction in the
countryside,” Ochoa said, citing the case of countries like Canada,
Australia and Chile where mining has contributed to economic growth
“For mining to be
acceptable, it must be guided by the principles of sustainable
development, environmental protection, social equity and, of course,
good governance,” Ochoa added. “Mining must also be pursued alongside
other economic activities that are compatible with it, including
agriculture and eco-tourism.”
Speaking on behalf of
President Benigno Aquino III, Ochoa also acknowledged the mining
industry’s commitment and participation in the National Greening
Program (NGP), pursuant to Executive Order No. 26 which the Chief
Executive signed on February 24.
Far from the usual
reforestation program, NGP is a government priority program that aims
to curb poverty, promote food security, environmental stability and
biodiversity conservation, and enhance climate change mitigation and
The NGP also seeks to
substantially increase the number of trees nationwide to improve water
quality in rivers and irrigation for farm lands, reduce the potential
for flooding, soak up carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, and lay
the foundation for an expanded wood-products economy.
specifically seeks to plant 1.5 billion seedlings in 1.5 million
hectares of public lands nationwide in six years, from 2011 to 2016 –
more than twice the government’s accomplishment for the past 25 years,
which is estimated at 730,000 hectares,” Ochoa said.
Ochoa described as a
“step in the right direction” and a “clear manifestation of corporate
social responsibility” the announced commitment of the mining industry
to reforest 34,000 hectares over the next three years.
The figure, he said,
will be “over and above the number of trees to be planted and
maintained as part of the mining contractor’s obligation to
rehabilitate mining-affected lands.
health center inaugurated in Lope de Vega, Northern Samar
By 20th Infantry Battalion, 8ID PA
LOPE DE VEGA, Northern
Samar – Army troopers from 20th Infantry (We Lead) Battalion headed
by LCol. Noel A. Vestuir attended the inauguration of the newly
rehabilitated barangay health center of Brgy Osmeña, Lope de Vega,
Northern Samar on September 12, 2011 at around 10:00 O’clock in the
The rehabilitation of
the said health center is a joint project of the TV5 Network, Plan
Philippines, Local Government of Lope de Vega, Rotary Club of Northern
Samar, other stakeholders, and the Philippine Army – represented by
the 20th Infantry (We Lead) Battalion, 8ID, PA.
The newly refurbished
health center was formally turn-ed over by Mr. Jay Orense, Program
Manager of TV5’s Alagang Kapatid to Barangay Captain Brando Abuke of
Barangay Osmeña along with new equipment that would address the health
requirements of the people in the area. Also, Mayor Erlinda P Cinco of
Lope de Vega has permanently assigned two (2) regular nurses and one
midwife in the said health center.
Brgy. Captain Abuke
expressed his utmost gratitude to the personalities, agencies and
organizations who shared their time and effort to restore, renovate,
and refurnish the dilapidated health center. The importance of the
said health center could not be undermined considering that it could
also cater the residents of three upstream barangays of Sampaguita,
San Jose and San Fransisco all of Lope de Vega Northern Samar.
The activity was
capped by a joint medical and dental mission conducted by the Rural
Health Unit of Lope de Vega headed by Dra. Jocelyn Galvez, TV5
Network, and the 8th Infantry (Stormtroopers) Division, Philippine
Army benefiting a total of 126 residents who availed the free medical
and dental consultation and free medicines.
success of the said activity is a glaring example of genuine
cooperation, collaborative efforts and commitment of all stakeholders
in bringing the services to our people that exemplifies the true
spirit of Bayanihan. The Philippine Army – together with the LGU of
Lope de Vega, TV5, and other stakeholders – call out for other
service-oriented organizations to advocate such convergence to help
uplift the lives of our fellow Filipino people especially those in the
remote and conflict affected areas.
ANAD hits NDF for
By ANAD Partylist
“Now the worms are out
of the can! The venoms of Maoist terrorism are unleashed to confuse
the Filipinos and paint a dazzling array anti-government propaganda,”
said ANAD Rep. Jun Alcover reacting to a statement by NDFP spokesman
Fidel Agcaoili warning of more Maoist terrorist attacks unless their
jailed consultants” (SIC!) are released from detention. (09-10-11
“True to their tag as
terrorists, they are now terrorizing government and the Filipino
people, once again! Contrary to Agcaoili’s assertions, it was not the
government but Jalandoni, his boss, who made the statement before
Philippine Daily Inquirer executives, last September 6 that the NDF
shall resume the peace talks with government in October. Sila-sila na
lang eh sintonado pa kung kumanta!,” he said.
Rep. Alcover expressed
dismay on the apparent split within the Maoist terrorist CPP
organization that could spell doom to the peace initiatives. “This
development somehow confirms highly credible information received by
ANAD that the Maoist terrorist CPP-NPA-NDF is currently experiencing a
fractious and debilitating split with one faction led by Jalandoni who
remains loyal to chair Jose Ma. Sison, and the other by Satur Ocampo
of the socalled locals where Fidel Agcaoili belongs. In fact news
reports say that Joma’s influence in the NDFP is waning (09/04/2011
www.gmanews.tv),” the ANAD solon declared.
It was learned that
the Sison faction is seeking to resume the already stalled peace talks
while that of Ocampo wanted to stir and pursue continued violence and
terrorism pursuant to the CPP 5-year plan. “Sison’s interest prompting
Norway’s intervention to revive the talks resulting in an agreement by
both panels to resume the talks in October without any precondition
but with positive steps undertaken by both the GPH and NDFP. But
Agcaoili and Ocampo, with the latter showing extreme callousness by
his deafening silence on the issue, insisted that government release
the 13 arrested NPA-NDF terrorist leaders before the peace talk moves
ahead,” Rep. Alcover said.
“They should clarify
as to who really is the leader of the NDFP that the government shall
meet on the negotiating table. We do not have the luxury to be
witnesses to a bloody and violent internal power struggle within the
Maoist terrorist organization that shall eventually ensue,” he added.
However, the former
NPA political and commanding officer in Eastern and
turned pro-democracy advocate warned the PNoy government saying that
Agcaoili’s recent statement smacks of arrogance and deliberate
insincerity that the PNoy administration must respond appropriately.
deal with this squarely and the full force of the law thrown against
them! Precious time, money, and efforts were wasted while pursuing
peace with a group that skillfully uses negotiations not as a method
of settling conflicts but as an instrument of warfare! Government
should now wake up and act with dispatch to put an end to the
deceptive machinations and lies relentlessly pushed by the adherents
of the Godless, violent, and inhuman Maoist communist ideology,” he