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Progressives denounce SC decision on EDCA

Progressive organizations denounced the Supreme Court decision declaring the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) constitutional in a rally in front of the United States Embassy last January 14.

The protesters maintain that the US-Philippine EDCA violates Philippine sovereignty by giving basing rights to foreign military, more so that the Philippine Senate has disapproved of the “treaty”.

Petitioners against the EDCA are set to file a motion of reconsideration to the High Tribunal very soon.

Despite rains, farmers protest vs WTO

Braving rains from tropical storm Nona (Melor) in the Philippines, farmers pushed through with their protest last December 15 against the 10th Ministerial Meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Nairobi, Kenya. Citing an almost 300 per cent increase in local rice prices since 1995 when the Philippines joined the WTO, the farmers called on the Philippine government to junk its membership in the trade organization.

The KMP or Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (Peasant Movement of the Philippines), an affiliate of the Asian Peasant Coalition (APC) and the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS).

Bayan: Send Pemberton to Bilibid

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan and other patriotic organisations held a protest rally in front of Camp Aguinaldo last December 4 to condemn what they believe is preferential treatment to convicted killer US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton.

According to Aaron Bonette, chairperson of the LGBTQ organisation Bahaghari, Philippine President Benigno Aquino killed Filipino transgender Jennifer Laude for agreeing to a special facility for the US soldier instead of a national Filipino prison as originally ordered by the trial court that convicted him.

The US refused to turn over to Philippine authorities after his conviction last December 1 and instead insisted that Pemberton be brought back to the military camp where it has its own facilities.

Both Philippine and US governments are reported to be jointly building a new jail for Pemberton in accordance with Visiting Forces Agreement provisions.

Patriotic organisations however say that the move is not only unjust to the victim but is in fact another violation of Philippine sovereignty by the US government.

The protest rally also called on the abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreementbetween the US and Philippine governments. #

Revolutionary orgs stage lightning rally on eve of APEC

REVOLUTIONARY ORGANIZATIONS under the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) staged a “lightning rally” as world leaders are due to arrive in the country for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit starting Monday.

Hundreds of revolutionaries marched on Manila’s crowded downtown area to condemn APEC as an imposition on poor countries like the Philippines.

“(We) vigorously condemn the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) as an imperialist instrument of plunder and greed,” the NDFP National Council said in a statement.

“The Filipino people have long suffered under the economic policies and multilateral agreements aggressively pushed by the APEC which have only ensured the interests of the advanced capitalist economies, especially that of the United States,” the underground alliance said.

Police officers in the area were caught flat-footed by the swift mobilization, which proceeded to march from the Carriedo area and dispersed at the corner of Recto Avenue and Quezon Boulevard.

The Benigno Aquino government has been implementing street-clearing operations and raising security alerts as it welcomes heads of states from dozens of countries, including United States president Barack Obama.

The revolutionaries distributed leaflets and painted slogans on walls as many of bystanders—mostly ambulant vendors—cheered from the sidelines.

The NDFP and its allied organizations are waging a “national democratic revolution” for nearly five decades, said to be the longest running revolution in Asia. #

Global activists hold international conference in Manila before APEC summit

More than 300 activists from all over the world are converging on Manila to hold an international conference starting tomorrow and challenge the Association of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit next week.

Saying the world would be better off without APEC and other multilateral agreements that benefit only one percent of the world’s population, the International League of Peoples Struggles (ILPS) said they represent 99 percent of the world’s population who suffer from increasing hunger and injustices under a global economic system controlled by rich and powerful countries.

“We will not mince our words. APEC claims that it is building a better word and…inclusive economics. APEC, in fact, is peddling a lie,” multi-awarded Canadian filmmaker Malcolm Guy said.
ILPS Philippines coordinator and former legislator Liza Masa said that the Philippines has become number two importer of rice after it joined the APEC in 1994.

“The influx of imported goods displaced our farmed and workers and stunted our local production. All thanks to APEC neo-liberal trade policies and the gross ineptness of our own government,” Masa said.

She warned that APEC’s brand of interconnectivity of member countries’ labor sectors and economies is only aimed at further enslaving the poor and enriching the rich.

Palestinian liberation fighter Leila Khaled said she is attending the conference to tell the world about their ongoing struggle against Israeli zionism and United States imperialism that are the leading sources of militarization of marginalized peoples in the world. “Everything that the leaders of powerful countries are going to say during the APEC summit here in Manila should instantly be considered a lie,”she said.

The ILPS is said to be the largest global formation of militant and anti-imperialist activists with hundreds of member organizations in 36 countries.

Delegates to its 5th General Assembly here in Manila are expected to hold protest actions against the APEC as well as solidarity activities with the Lumad of Mindanao who are themselves holding their Manilakbayan protests until the last week of the month. “As citizens of the world, we intend to let our voices be heard,” Guy said. ###

Militants hold rally at SC vs EDCA

As the Philippine Supreme Court is about to release its ruling on the petition to declare the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement between the United States of America and Philippine government unconstitutional, petitioners belonging to the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan staged a rally in front of the Court to reiterate their opposition to foreign military presence in the country.

Here is a video report of the event.