Tag Archives: Philippines

FROM MIND TO MASSES

18 Apr

FROM MIND TO MASSES

All poems are broken poems, unless they are a kiss or a raised fist, For Something-Someone, A cause, So the slogan better be worth something, so poems can be worth something, But don’t worry I hear you and I love what you say, I love those words from the wise, to

Decolonize you mind,

But mind you that your mind isn’t separated from your body, and the bodies of others, Not separated from the material world,

Materialism,

not materialistic-don’t-get-it-twisted you missed it, When your mind didn’t see, the shadow of the

laborer,

In the products you buy, and the products that you walk by, Even this poem, underwritten by the labor time, The labor time that produces, the racial time, the gender time, the sexuality time, In the products you buy and the lifestyles that you buy into, from the consciousness that you craft, to the objects around you, laced with the voice of laborers, and the shadow of the wealthy few,

Only capital

is transnational,

we’re their tools, My identity and yours, supposedly free to float?  The multiple identities in you and me: a Body-moving-and-grooving-dancing-disOriently-disrupting-discourse?  Multiple identities free and in flux?

In that logic

we’re still fucked,

because the masters master that, multiple identities is fine by them, they love their glass ceilings and their multiculturalism, The fluid-self-diaspora-moving body doesn’t make you free

know the conditions of possibility,

So restart the engine or start where you’re at, because that rationale, ain’t happening now, When the echoes from overseas oversee who we are,

Echoes of the (neo)colonized,

Landless

and urban poor

that know the severing of ties and the severing of tongues, that know balikbayan box coffins, And the U.S. in us from hamleting and scorched-earth-tactics-water-board-trajectory-scorched our eyes and skin through time,

And now we come across when coming across oceans like conveyor-belted products, Readymade, Racialized-gendered-fetishized, Readymade-wealth-making-wealth becomes an upward gravity, Money hand-over-fist to the capitalist, trickle-down fist becoming a-downward strike, And your identity

manufactured

like this, has meaning, as it basks in the light, of an exploitive, working, day, But don’t fret-don’t fret, learn the contradictions emanating from the Basss…e, Fret, that structures your speech-expression-and-consciousness, Learn the contradictions, learn the many dimensions of you, and stay on that decolonizing mind-grind, Or better yet,

just decolonize,

From the mind,

to

matter,

Not an individual practice be called and call forth the masses, the decolonizing-mind-grind-in-service-of-

the-massline,

Unravel the stoppage in your speech to express yourself, so that we express ourselves, our grievances, our list of demands, So that this broken poem finds finality, so that a kiss, becomes upward gravity, so that this fist, becomes an upward gravity, And press it against your flaws and your privileges, bourgeois mind-traps of internalized-heteropatriarchy-and-white-supremacy,

Take inventory,

take aim,

remold,

And upsurge the insurgent heart and assert the brave mentality,

Learn, practice, learn, practice, learn, practice,

Rectify,

Internalize to the mind,

and

Seize the time

Seize the time

Seize the time!

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FREE THE MORONG 43!

25 Feb

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Reference:  Kuusela Hilo, Vice Chair of BAYAN-USA
vc@bayanusa.org, (818) 395-9207

Los Angeles, California–Concerned leaders and human rights advocates representing various communities in Los Angeles sent a delegation to speak with California U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer’s office. They met with Senator Boxer’s office to deliver petitions signed by over 500 people and organizations to demand the immediate release of the 43 health workers who have been illegally arrested, detained, and tortured by the Philippine military since February 6, 2010.  Representatives of the delegation urged Senator Boxer to continue her commitment to human rights by supporting the demand for the immediate and unconditional release of the 43 and to stop human rights violations in the Philippines.

The delegation included community leaders Reverend David Farley and Reverend Sandra Richards of the United Methodist Church; Melissa Roxas, a survivor of abduction and torture in the Philippines; Chito Quijano of California Nurses’ Association and the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS); Kuusela Hilo of BAYAN-USA and the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA); representatives from the organizations AnakBayan Los Angeles; Habi Arts; Sisters of GABRIELA, Awaken!; International Action Center; Confederation of Iranians; and other concerned individuals.

ILPS representative Quijano stated, “We request Senator Barbara Boxer to support the release of the 43. As long as the 43 health workers are languishing in a ‘Guantanamo-like prison’ and the Philippine military continues violating human rights, no U.S. tax dollars should be given to the Philippine government.”

In 2008, following a hearing in the United States Senate on the human rights situation in the Philippines, convened by Sen. Boxer, the US Congress voted to withhold $2 million of 2009 military aid until the Philippine government complied with certain human rights conditions.  However, the Philippine government has not made any significant efforts to improve the human rights situation in their country. The Ampatuan Massacre in November 2009, which saw the slaying of 58 people, along with the illegal arrest and abuse of the 43 health workers at the hands of the Armed Forces of the Philippines only demonstrate the worsening human rights conditions in the country.

Rev. Richards, Rev. Farley, and Hilo took part in the United Methodist Church California Pacific Pastoral and Solidarity visit to the Philippines last week.  They also participated in a delegation that visited the 43 health workers illegally detained in the military Camp Capinpin. Rev. Richards shared her firsthand accounts with Senator Boxer’s office, including the conversations with the families of the 43 detained health workers and the forum with Commission on Human Rights Chair Leila de Lima.  Rev. Richards concluded, “Regardless of whether one believes that the 43 health workers are innocent of the charges, it is a fact beyond doubt that their civil and human rights have been violated. They were forced to sit handcuffed and blindfolded for 36 straight hours, were not told with what they were being charged, were not allowed to lie down or sleep, and were fed and toileted by strangers. This kind of torture is illegal in the Philippines. The military has shown extreme disregard for human rights and the law of the country they are meant to protect.”

Rev. Richards elaborated, “The global United Methodist Church has determined that two of its four goals are: global health and ministry with the poor. The 43 health workers were living out this call. It’s troubling that the Philippine government has criminalized the work on behalf of these goals. If these selfless acts of mercy are allowed to be categorized as criminal, then who can be safe?”

Rev. Richards highlighted, “The United States is widely seen as a partner in the Philippine Military, and is a funder. If the U.S. Government does not step in to free these health workers, the United States Government will have become a party to religious persecution of the Christians in the Philippines.”

On February 15, 2010, after the petitioning for writ of habeas corpus and mounting public pressure, the Philippine military presented the 43 health workers to the Court of Appeals.  The testimony from one of the victims, Dr. Alex Montes, shows proof of psychological torture, physical abuse and other inhumane and degrading treatment of the detainees.  The deadline for the court to make a decision on the writ of habeas corpus is Wednesday, February 24, 2010.

“All the 43 health workers did was to serve the poor and the most vulnerable in society and they filled a great need that the Philippine government was not able to provide,” stated Roxas. “I know what it feels like to be detained and tortured.  No human being should have to go through that.  The situation is critical.  Every day that the 43 health workers are not released, it is one more day they have to endure of pain, fear, and torture. We demand the immediate release of the 43 health workers.  We need to help stop human rights violations in the Philippines.”

An on-going petition http://www.petitiononline.com/Free43/petition.html has been launched online.  All supporters of human rights are invited to join the international effort to Free the 43. More information can be found at http://www.freethehealthworkers.blogspot.com

###

The Awakening of Melissa R.

27 May

Blog author foreword:

The good news is that Melissa Roxas, the recent abducted Filipina American activist, has sinced surfaced and is with her family members in Manila.  Little is known on the status on her physical condition.  Roxas was abducted along with two fellow activists Juanito Carebeo and John Edward Handoc.  Though Carebeo has surfaced, Handoc is still missing.

The following is an undated email message written by Melissa Roxas published by the excellent online news magazine bulatlat

THE AWAKENING OF MELISSA R.

PUBLISHED ON May 26, 2009 AT 7:41 AM

Roxas, the Filipino-American activist who was abducted along with two others on May 19, purportedly wrote this undated email message. Bulatlat.com is reposting it because it provides a glimpse into her character and might help explain why an American like her would be spending time in the remote villages of the Philippines, trying to help the poor.

I want to share a story that particularly moved me about 14-year-old Adel. Adel was ten years old when her parents, were abducted and murdered by Philippine military soldiers. Her father, Expedito Albarillo was an active coordinator of Bayan Muna (a progressive political party list) in the town of San Teodoro, Mindoro Oriental. Her mother, Manuela, was an active member of Gabriela (a progressive women’s organization) in the same town. Adel told the story of how her mother hid her so the military would not know she was in the house. She heard her mother tell the military soldier to wait until she can get changed but the soldier told her not to bother because she would be killed. She peeked from where she was hidden and saw a soldier hit her father on the leg with a gun because he refused to come with them. Adel said she watched the military drag her parents outside the house and to the nearby hills. She said she felt very afraid, terrified. Later she heard successive gunshots from the direction where her parents were brought and she went outside to go find other family members in the town. They sent a team to look for her parents and when they later found them, she said they were shocked to find the bodies in the state they were in. Her father’s left eye was gouged out with a knife and gunshot wounds were found on his armpit and side. Her mother’s neck was shattered due to a gunshot below her left eye and she had other gunshot wounds in her armpit.

After the incident Adel had to go through therapy because of the trauma. She is only one of the many children that lost their parents due to military aggression. Eden Marcellana, then secretary general of Karapatan became her second mother, as Eden was to many families who became victims of human rights violations. But because Eden was outspokenly critical of the string of human rights violations cases committed against hapless peasants, Mangyan families and leaders and members of progressive groups in Mindoro, she too became a victim of kidnapping and murder. Adel and other children lost their second mother and the area lost another dedicated human rights worker.

We visited the sites where some of the victim’s bodies were found and also saw photographs of the scene. All the delegates professed their determination to tell the whole world about what they saw because these crimes against humanity have to stop. Adel and her older brother continue the work that their parents had begun and continue to condemn the militarization of countrysides and expose the crimes of the military and Arroyo administration. Even after having lost her parents, and her friends to these heinous crimes, Adel continues to work for change in the country, continues to defend the working poor, peasants, and those who the government have let down. All of the delegates, including myself, drew so much inspiration from this 14 year old girl and we asked ourselves, for us who do not live under direct repression, what can we do? And all vowed to remain dedicated to telling these stories and put pressure on our own governments to stop support of the Arroyo regime.

Unfortunately, this story is only one of many from the island of Mindoro and throughout the Philippines. Even the ISM team from Mindoro experienced different forms of harassment from local police and military as we traveled through the area. We experienced harassment at checkpoints and were followed—we got a taste of what locals must go through everyday. Many testimonies were heard by the other four teams who visited Hacienda Luisita, Central Luzon, Samar Island in Eastern Visayas, and Surigao del Sur in Mindanao.

Throughout this trip I cried many times and was deeply affected by such injustice. Also outraged that here in America, our taxpayer dollars are going to support repressive regimes like Arroyo’s. The U.S. provides financial support and training for Philippine troops. I am outraged that instead of using our hard earned tax dollars on helping the survivors of Hurricane Katrina, it goes abroad to fund wars of aggression in Iraq and the Philippines.

After this experience I began to really understand why people say that Philippines is in a current state of undeclared martial law. The Arroyo administration and the military act under a culture of impunity – immune from any punishment and immune from the rule of law that they say they are defending. Like the Marcos years (Philippine dictator until 1986), people’s civil rights are compromised and any opposition to the government is crushed – except that Arroyo is using the pretext of the “war on terror” to suppress legitimate dissent. Like what happened in Hacienda Luisita, where striking sugarcane workers and peasants were asking for better wages and benefits, were massacred by the military and local police. What justice is there for the victims? Until now they are still fighting for those benefits and until now there has been no punishment for the military and police.

Thank you for listening. At this point, I feel my responsibility is to tell as many people as possible about what I’ve seen, and as a writer write as much as I can about what I’ve seen. And most importantly take action.

I remain profoundly changed by this experienced and hope that even with these poor poets words, I can help spread awareness about these issues and tell the stories that were entrusted to me, that literally was paid for by the victims with sweat and blood.

Thank you fellow poets. Please keep in touch. I miss you all.

Much love,
Melissa R.

AnakBayan-San Diego Marches in Solidarity to Demand Human Rights for All – Education, Legalization, Dignified Work

5 May

Press Statement
May 4, 2009
Reference: Ivan Penetrante: Chair, Maridel Andrada: Secretary General, AnakBayan-San Diego, email: anakbayansd@gmail.com
 
AnakBayan-San Diego Marches in Solidarity to Demand Human Rights for All – Education, Legalization, Dignified Work
 
San Diego—The San Diego chapter of AnakBayan or “Youth of the Nation,” a Filipino Youth and Student organization committed to movement for National democracy in the Philippines, marches with the May 1st Coalition of San Diego from City College to Chicano park, calling for an end to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids, detentions and deportations; genuine immigration reform; and education for all.
 
Lead by a contingent of middle school youth, high school and college students, workers, documented and undocumented immigrants, the people comprised of over a dozen different organizations and affiliations commemorated International Workers’ Day by recognizing that all immigrants deserve rights as their rights are human rights.  The people united marched without fear on this one day whereas the other days many live in fear of being separated from family as a result of ICE raids, deportations and detentions while often surviving off menial jobs. 
 
Immigrants accept menial jobs overseas because in their homeland they are faced with the inability to support themselves and their families.  This is due in part to unequal political and economic relations under the system of neoliberal globalization.  Though rich in resources to sustain its people, the Philippines is one of the countries victimized by this unequal system, forcing people to flee the country.
 
More than 10 million Filipinos reside outside of the Philippines, sending home an average of $15-16 billion dollars in remittances, over half of which comes from the labor of more than four million Filipinos living in the United States.   One million remain undocumented, thus live in fear and do not experience the freedom and democracy that its politicians claim to practice. Most undocumented and exploited immigrants from all over the globe are forced to live in this American “nightmare” without looking back at the life of poverty and despair that they left behind.
 
On his 100th day in office, the masses challenged President Obama to live up to his rhetoric on the need to change the immigration system.  The inefficient backlog system in the U.S. that has Filipinos waiting as long as 10-15 years for approval of their petitions for migration via family sponsorship is one aspect that needs to be resolved in addition to the Gestapo-like raids by ICE, mass deportations and unlawful  detentions without due process.
 
As the world faces the current economic crisis, the struggles of oppressed migrant workers across the globe will intensify and shall not be overlooked as multinational corporations and big banks seek bailouts that should be dispersed among the people instead.  From this position, the only direction we should take is forward with the struggle for a just and humane immigration system free of exploitation and repression.
 
LEGALIZATION FOR ALL UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS!
END ICE RAIDS, DETENTIONS AND DEPORTATIONS!
SWIFT FAMILY RE-UNIFICATION NOW! SCRAP THE IMMIGRANT BACKLOG!
IMMIGRANT RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS!
BAIL OUT THE WORKERS, NOT THE BANKS!
 
AnakBayan-SD is a member organization of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan or “New Patriotic Alliance” (BAYAN-USA), an alliance of progressive Filipino groups in the U.S. representing organizations of students, scholars, women, workers, and youth.  As an international chapter of BAYAN-Philippines, it 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.

Rupert Estanislao on May 1st

4 May

SF CHRP – May 1st Statement (by Rupert Estanislao)

OFW = Overseas Filipina/o Worker

OFW = Overseas Filipina/o Worker

May 1st Press Statement
Rupert Estanislao,
SF Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines

(English)
From childhood well into adulthood the bitter truth I learned is that I would never be able to grow old in the country of my origin.

I came to America at age fourteen in 1993.

My mother went ahead of the family and took up work as a dental assistant while my father was a security guard and a part time hotel manager.

In his homeland, my father was a lawyer; here he was a security guard at the courthouse.

My mother was a dentist with a practice in Metro Manila, but here her degrees and experience were dismissed and deemed inapplicable.

They kept their dignity and worked diligently no matter how meager the pay, no matter how racist or petty the boss.

Leaving for work everyday at three am and coming home past ten at night left no time to eat and sit with one another as a family.

I know their bosses took advantage of their status and they being accustomed to the corrupt system of the Philippines silently complied and turned a blind eye to the violation of their own rights.

Legal or illegal, they are still immigrants.

 

They are immigrants who left because the wealth and resources of their home were sold and auctioned during the time of martial law.

They are immigrants who left with the broken hope of having to witness the ravaging of the Philippines by U.S. military occupation.

They are immigrants and they are residents of the bay area who pay taxes to the government to help this economy thrive and prosper yet are scapegoated for society’s ills and the failure of the capitalist system.

I am one story in a million Diasporas of immigrants who leave their lands begrudgingly.

We leave because our government is overrun with the filthy rich and puppets of U.S. interest.

The root of all human rights violations is the affront of the United States to the sovereignty of the Philippines.

****************************

(Tagalog)
Mula ng ako’y musmos hanggang sa aking pagkabinata unti unti akong namulat sa katotohanan na hindi ako tatanda sa lupa kong tinunbuan.

Dumating ako sa Amerika noong 1993, katorse anyos pa lang ako.

Nauna ang aking ina at naging isang Dental Assistant, sumunod ang Tatay ko at nagdalawang trabaho siya bilang isang security guard at hotel manager para magpakain sa aming mag-ina. Abogado ang Tatay ko sa sarili niyang bansa, ngunit dito hanggang guardia lang siya sa corte. Ang Nanay ko ay isang dentista na may titulo sa aming lungsod ngunit dito hindi kinikilala ang kanyang tinapos.

Sapat ang kanilang sahod kahit masasakit ang sinabi ng amo nila, tintiiis at di nagpahalata ng galit.

Madaling araw sila umalis para unahan ang trapik.

Nakakauwi sila ng halos alas gis ng gabe.

Alam ko na pinagsasamantalahan ng mga amo ng nanay at tatay ko ang kanilang alanganin na kalagayan.

Ang nakasanayan nila na systema sa Pilipinas ay huwag umimik pag sinasaktan, huwag mag welga pag inaapi.

May papeles man o wala, sila’y migrante.

Mga migrante na umalis sa tinubuan na lupa dahil naubos ang yaman ng bansa noong panahon ng batas militar.

Migrante sila na umalis ng sawi, mga saksi sa pagsakop at paggahasa ng mga Amerikanong sondalo at militar sa bayan at sa mamayan.

Migrante sila na kabilang sa mamayan ng San Francisco bay area.

Migrante sila na nagbabayad ng buwis sa goberyno, sila ang nagpapatakbo sa ekonomiya, subalit sila ang binibintangan ng goberyno at medya kapag may mga suliranin ang lipunan.

Ang kwento ko ay hindi nagiisa, ito ang malungkot na kasaysayan ng mga migrante na sa pilit lumalakbay.

Umalis kame dahil ang mga mayayaman at ang mga tuta ang humahawak ng kapangyarihan sa aming bansa.

Ang ugat ng paglabag sa karapatan pang tao ay ang pagahasa ng Estados Unidos sa soberenya ng Pilipinas.

****************************
LEGALIZATION FOR ALL UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS!
NO TO RAIDS, DETENTIONS, AND DEPORTATIONS!
SWIFT FAMILY RE-UNIFICATION NOW! SCRAP THE IMMIGRATION BACKLOG!
IMMIGRANT RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS!
BAIL-OUT THE WORKERS, NOT THE BANKS!
SCRAP THE PHILIPPINE LABOR EXPORT PROGRAM (LEP)!
NO TO NEOLIBERAL TRADE POLICIES!

links and vids for the introductory post

11 Apr

Below are links and vids associated with my previous post.

More information on Third Cinema: http://thirdcinema.blueskylimit.com/thirdcinema.html

Fernando Solanas and Octavio Gettino “Towards a Third Cinema”

Julio Garcia Espinosa “For an Imperfect Cinema”

Fernando Solanas and Octavio Gettino “La Hora de los Hornos” (The Hour of the Furnaces):

Gillo Pontecorvo “The Battle of Algiers”:

Kidlat Tahimik: