Manila Indymedia PHILIPPINES

Hacienda Luisita Union Leader Shot Dead, Dissidents Condemn Killings

After the massacre, assailants suspected to be the operatives of Philippine Armed Forces Region 3 Command under General Palparan, gunned down Hacienda Luisita union-leader, Ricardo Ramos, Tuesday night.

According to reports gathered from mainstream media, Ricardo Ramos, 47, president of the Central Azucarera de Tarlac Labor Union (CATLU), was shot and killed on Tuesday while drinking with friends in his backyard in Barangay Mapalacsiao five hours after the union received at least P8 million from the Hacienda Luisita Inc. as settlement for back wages.(source:

“The murder of Ramos is the fresh addition to the long line of labor leaders who have been killed during the Arroyo administration.” says BMP (Solidarity of Socialist Filipino Workers) in a given solidarity statement condemning the State for carrying terrorist campaign against workers struggle for genuine unionism and social reforms. BMP also said that State sponsored terrorism has gone berserk even in workers picket lines, pointing out the recent murder of a worker from Scneider Packaging Corp. in a violent dispersal by police and scabs using the power of Assumption of Jurisdiction ordered by Department of Labor.

In case of another attack, a unified civil liberties movement was suggested by Jun Simbulan of Philippine Greens to strengthen the ranks of various dissident groups by setting aside each own ideological differences.

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Human rights report in Seattle

Todd Boyle, Kirkland WA 26.Nov.2005 03:03

Eight individuals from a multi-ethnic delegation recently returned home to Seattle from the International Solidarity Mission (ISM) in the Philippines. Individuals in the Seattle and East Side communities to attended their report back to learn about a reality far different from our own and its intricate links to our existence in the U.S.

From January to November 30, 2004, the Philippines-based human rights organization, Karapatan documented 570 cases of human rights violations affecting 9924 people, or approximately 52 cases a month. This year alone, there were 68 victims of enforced disappearance. An average of 6 persons a month are abducted and made to disappear. From 2001 to 2004, a total of 3,488 cases of human rights violations were reported and documented under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo government.

Eight individuals from a multi-ethnic delegation recently returned home to Seattle from the International Solidarity Mission (ISM) in the Philippines. The purpose of the ISM was to investigate gross human rights violations in the Philippines. ISM teams visited five sites to speak with survivors, witnesses, local government officials and military commanders. The victims included women and children, many of whom evacuated their communities because of the intensified military presence. Our primary objective is to bring their stories back to Seattle to share with our communities: 10-year old boys being made to dig their own graves, unarmed workers on strike being shot at indiscriminately, and husbands being abducted and found dead days later, just to name a few.

During the history of the Philippines, dictator Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law, allowing military authority to override civilian rule. Though Marcos has long been overthrown, we have witnessed an undeclared martial law. This is evident in the numerous documented human rights violations committed by men bearing the uniform of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Often these atrocities occur in broad daylight, with several witnesses.

The event was sponsored by Evergreen Peace and Justice Community (EPJC), Philippine-U.S. Solidarity Organization (PUSO) with the support of Gabriela Network, Anak-Bayan and Bayan USA. The event and slide shows were videotaped.

Students abduction in Philippines.

Renato Rivera forwarded by Todd Boyle 07.Jul.2006 06:09

Date: Thu, 6 Jul 2006 16:32:58 -0700
From: "Renato Rivera"
Subject: [epjc] Students abduction in Philippines.

Philippine – U.S. Solidarity Organization
Seattle activists condemn U.S.-GMA for the abduction of three student researchers
July 4, 2006

The Philippine – U.S. Solidarity Organization (PUSO) condemns to the highest possible terms the U.S. backed Gloria Macapagal Arroyo government (U.S. – GMA) and it’s fascist military the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for forcibly abducting three students early morning last Monday in a barrio in Hagonoy, Bulacan. Karen Empeño, Sherlyn Cadapan and Manuel Merino.

PUSO joins the victims' families, student organizations and friends in demanding that the military surface and release them, citing reports that the three are ordinary students doing field research and NOT members of the New People’s Army (NPA).

These student researchers Karen Empeno, Sherlyn Cadapan and Manuel Merino are the latest civilian victims of the AFP's Oplan Bantay Laya and the Arroyo regime's "all-out war of terror." All reports point to covert operatives under the command of Gen. Jovito Palparan, commander of the Central Luzon based 7th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, as the ones who perpetrated the abduction.

Empeno is a student of the University of the Philippines (UP) taking up BA Sociology and a member of the League of Filipino Students LFS-UP Diliman.

Cadapan, on the other hand, is an award-winning triathlete from the College of Human Kinetics. Both are conducting social research among farmers and fisherfolk in Central Luzon. Together with Merino, another student researcher.

They were roused from their sleep at 2 a.m. last Monday by six armed men wearing bonnets who forced their way into the house they were staying in and seized them.

These student researchers are not guerrillas. The government and it’s military is so paranoid that even students in the midst of farmers and fisherfolk are immediately considered rebels and subjected to fascist elimination. The NPA does not have a monopoly of mingling and working among peasants and other oppressed masses.

There can be no justification for forcibly abducting and enforcing the disappearance of anyone whether they be members of the NPA or not. The Arroyo government has nothing but utter contempt for human rights and civilized norms of conduct.

This pattern of impunity, the complete disregard for people's rights and humanitarian rules in the Arroyo regime's conduct of its all-out war of terror is a desperate bid to silence the people and suppress all resistance against her rotten, puppet and fascist rule.

Such atrocities come in the midst of a rampage of fascist killings being waged by the Arroyo regime, and its fascist forces the AFP through its "Black Army" of death squads against progressive mass leaders and activists, media people, religious and others who; despite widespread condemnation by local and international organizations and personalities; continue. These brutal attacks are directed toward those who are merely seeking justice, freedom, democracy and a better life.

Also as recent as June 17th, peace negotiations consultant Rogelio Calubad and his 29-year old son Gabriel were abducted by AFP armed goons in Calauag, Quezon.

The AFP is again responsible for the enforced disappearance of Philip Limjoco who was seized last May 7 in Central Luzon, as well as the abduction of Roberto Marapo and Dionelo Borres in Ilog, Negros Occidental on May 28.

Therefore we in PUSO join the growing list of outraged organizations and people all over the world and demand that the police and military forces acknowledge the forced capture and detention of the students, and that the students be immediately released. So long as civil liberties are not respected in this country, so long as the government and the military hold fascism as a cornerstone of its governance, no individual or institution is safe. We will not be swayed into fear. The governments cruelty only fuels heightened activism that shall lead to the Filipino people’s complete victory.

Philippine - U.S. Solidarity Organization
Seattle, WA. USA.