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Consequences of the judgement in favor of the Philippines against China’s false claims of indisputable sovereignty

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison

Founding Chairman, Communist Party of the Philippines,

and Chief Political Consultant, National Democratic Front of the Philippines

July 13, 2016

 

THE PHILIPPINES is now in an overwhelmingly superior or far more advantageous position than ever before in legal, political and material terms after the clear-cut judgment of the Arbitral Tribunal in favor of the Philippines against China’s spurious claims of historic rights over more than 90 per cent of the South China and in particular over more than 80 per cent of the exclusive economic zone and 100 per cent of the extended continental shelf of the Philippines in the West Philippine Sea. Read more

PODCAST: Filipino women worst off under Aquino

At a huge rally at the center of this capital city, the country’s biggest women’s organization Gabriela narrates how Filipino women suffered the most under the Benigno Aquino government. It’s secretary general Joms Salvador says that one woman is victimized by violence in the Philippines every 40 minutes. Peasant woman Celia Veloso laments the sad fate that befell her daughter who is a victim of human trafficking while woman worker Myrna Pisao cries for justice for 73 co-workers who died in a factory fire last year.

Listen as Filipino women commemorate International Working Women’s Day 2016 in Manila, Philippines.

NPA in Mindanao grows, leaders say

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The Internationale. Part of a company of NPA guerrillas presenting arms as they sing the communist hymn “Ang Internasyunal” at the start of the CPP’s 47th founding anniversary.

 

Kitcharao, AGUSAN DEL NORTE—The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) further gained strength despite more than five years of brutal counter-insurgency operations by the Benigno Aquino government, a top rebel leader said during their 47th founding anniversary celebrations in this town last December 26.

National Democratic Front of the Philippines-Mindanao spokesperson Jorge ‘Ka Oris’ Madlos said that the New People’s Army (NPA) now has six more guerilla fronts from 40 at the start of the Aquino administration in five regions of Mindanao.

Madlos added that the NPA’s operations in Mindanao now cover 2,500 barrios from 1,850 five years ago.

“These ever expanding and deepening bases render great advantage to the NPA’s maneuver, the launching of tactical offensives (TO), the recruitment of Red fighters, the implementations of widespread agrarian revolution and the launching of mass struggles,” Madlos in a video message said.

A company of uniformed guerillas presented arms while the communist hymn “Ang Internasyunal” was sung to start a three-hour program marked with speeches, songs and skits that delighted the thousands of supporters, well-wishers and guests who attended the event.

The fact that a single NPA Front can organize and successfully hold a big public event despite threats and harassments by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Magahat paramilitary group is proof that Oplan (Operation Plan) Bayanihan 1 and 2 have failed, Guerilla Front 16 spokesperson Ka Utok said.

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Uniformed and fully armed. A platoon of red fighters in their uniform and high-powered arms such as AK-47s and M-16s with grenade launchers. They say most of their guns were won through victorious battles with Philippine government forces.

 

Threats and harassments

Government troops set up checkpoints on roads leading to the venue of the celebrations but were ignored by convoys of vehicles carrying visitors to the guerrillas’ celebrations.

More than a dozen journalists also covered the event despite threats by the Magahat paramilitary group that they would kill those who will cover the anniversary celebrations.

In a press conference after the main program, Utok and Front 16 political officer Ka Edroy condemned threats made by Magahat leader Loloy Tejero as part of a single act by the paramilitary group, the Philippine Information Agency and the Aquino government.

“It was the PIA who disseminated Tejero’s threat to kill journalists who will cover our celebrations and it is proof they are colluding in this criminal act,” Ka Edroy said.

Philippine Army public information officer Col. Benjamin Hao however belied the NPA’s accusation as well as claims of increased strength and influence.

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Loved and welcomed. A cultural presentation showing how the NPA guerillas are welcomed and loved by the masses.

No SOMO violations by Philippine Army

“The threat of the Magahats, if it is true, is of their own doing.  We do not have anything to do about it,” Hao said.

“If journalists have problems on that, we will provide necessary assistance if they request from us, the PNP (Philippine National Police) or they can file an appropriate case,” Hao added.

The government army spokesperson belied their checkpoints were directed against the NPA and their supporters. He said no operation is conducted to violate the suspension of military operations (SOMO) with the NPA. The checkpoints, Hao claimed, were for the tower posts of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).

There were no reports of NGCP towers under threat of attack in Kitcharao town where the NPA held their celebrations, however.

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A big celebration. A huge crowd of supporters, well-wishers and guests attended the anniversary celebrations despite being organized and hosted by a single NPA front, the Guerilla Front 16 in Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Norte. Insiders say GF 16 now has at least five full-sized companies.

 

AFP records

Hao also dismissed Madlos’s statements as “highly exaggerated”.

He said that based on AFP records, the NPA strength of 2,035 has gone down to 1,691 followers this year. He added that the NPA’s most significant decline is in the number of their guerilla fronts, which used to be 29 but is now down to 24.

Hao said further that out of the 547 NPA-influenced barangays, it is now down to 413.  On firearms count, he said the NPA lost 101 firearms this year.  “They also lost a lot of leaders, especially Commander Parago,” Hao added.

“These are contrary to what are being claimed by the NPA spokesman of Mindanao (Madlos)…So wherever he got his number, he is now accountable to his boss in The Netherlands,” Hao said, referring to CPP founder Jose Maria Sison.

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Huge crowd. Part of the crowd who braved the difficult trek up and down the mountainous village, Philippine Army checkpoints and the Magahat threat of murder against attendees.

Festive mood

Despite threats by the Magahat and the presence of checkpoints on roads leading to the venue, the celebrations started on time this year.

To the delight of the crowd, the performers did not mind rolling on the ground rendered muddy by the intermittent rains.

Unlike last year, tents were put up to protect the crowd from the sun and the rain.

Before lunch time, dozens of lechon (whole roast pig) arrived strapped on “skylab” motorcycles that were served with fried chicken and rice.

Youthful NPA fighters took over the stage and sang as their guests started trekking back down to the main roads at around two in the afternoon.

On spots along the mountain roads, skylabs laden with big canisters were parked and ice cream was offered for free to the visitors.

The Philippine Army checkpoint at the corner of the provincial road and the national highway was gone by the time the main body of the attendees made their way back home. # (News and photos by Raymund B. Villanueva)

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Ready to fight. While saying the Magahat group is not present in their area, Guerilla Front 16 said they are willing to face the paramilitary and the Philippine Army if they dared to disrupt their celebrations.

 

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. #

US Marine found guilty of killing Filipino transgender

Militant organizations cheered as the Olongapo Regional Trial Court found US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott guilty of homicide for killing Filipino transgender Jennifer Laude.

Led by the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, they held a vigil rally last December 1 as the promulgation of the judgement was ongoing.

Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr said that the Filipino people should remain vigilant on where the convict would be jailed.

Their fears were proven correct soon after as the Philippine government agreed to returning Pemberton to the US-controlled facility Joint US Military Advisory Group compound inside Camp Aguinaldo.

This move violated the court’s order that Pemberton should first be committed to a Philippine jail facility such as the National Bilibid Prisons pending formal agreements on where the convict should serve the rest of his jail term.

Pemberton should be committed to a Philippine jail, militants insist

Militant organizations held a protest rally while the promulgation of the judgement on US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton was being read at the Olongapo Regional Trial Court last December 1.

Pemberton was found guilty of committing homicide in connection with the death of Filipino transgender Jennifer Laude last year.

He was sentenced to a minimum of six year and a maximum of 12 years for the crime.

While declaring partial victory over the conviction of the US soldier, the militants said that he should be jailed in a Philippine correctional facility.

They warned that the US government may initiate moves to take custody of the convict and that the Philippine government may agree to such machinations.

They were proven correct when the US and Philippine government immediately agreed to transport Pemberton to a US facility inside Camp Aquinaldo last night.

The move is contrary to the explicit instructions of the court to bring Pemberton to a national jail such as the National Bilibid Prisons.

WEBSTREAMING: Martsa Amianan and Manilakbayan 2015 meet at Mendiola

Indigenous peoples from Northern Luzon have arrived in Metro Manila to meet with indigenous peoples from Mindanao Island at Mendiola to start their protest actions against the ongoing Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in Manila.

Indigenous tribes in the Philippines are resisting foreign and large-scale mining encroachments in their ancestral domains that bring with them killings, harassment and other human rights violations.

Watch this Kodao Productions web-streaming of the events as they unfold since before dawn today.