Sunday, November 13, 2005

KATUNGOD–SB–KARAPATAN

Alyansa ha Pagpanalipod han Tawhanon nga Katungod ha Sinirangan Bisayas

(Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights in Eastern Visayas)

Email: katungodsbisayas@yahoo.com, xandre24@yahoo.com

Website: http://www.karapatan.org

P.O. Box 204, Tacloban Central Post Office, Tacloban City, 6500 Leyte

Mobile Phone: +63915-581-3889





November 13, 2005



A STATEMENT OF CONCERN

(An Appeal to Friends in the Media, Members of Progressive Organizations

and all Freedom-Loving Filipinos)





Dear Friends:



Warm nationalist greetings amidst this terroristic attacks committed by the state on our ranks!



We are about to observe the 57th Commemorative Year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), a landmark document which had been ratified by most governments and states all over the world last December 10, 1948. The Philippine government is also a signatory to this international human rights instrument.



However, we are saddened by the fact that despite this document and other parallel human rights instruments like the Bill of Rights of the 1987 Philippine Constitution and the 1998 Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Laws (CARHRIHL), still civil liberties and basic rights of the people are grossly violated and disregarded. What is more alarming is the fact that armed state forces/agents are perpetrating infractions to human rights guaranteed and enshrined in these documents.



In Eastern Visayas, we have been witnesses to the stint of Brig. General Jovito S. Palparan who then assumed as commanding general of the 8th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army based in Brgy. Maulong, Catbalogan, Western Samar who wrecked havoc on peasant communities and progressive organizations including local government units and their officials. Indiscriminately, he unleashed a terroristic campaign to curtail basic human rights – freedom of _expression, right to peaceful assembly, organization, among other politico-civil guarantees.



Our gruesome experience under Palparan puts the record of violations to 570 cases committed (the number is still surging up as claims are mounting on daily basis) – from politically motivated killings in form of massacres, assassinations, salvagings (extra-judicial killings); abductions and enforced disappearance; arbitrary arrest and detention; physical assault/mental and physical torture; divestment and destruction of properties; verbal threats to media practitioners; to sowing of the climate of terror on far-flung villages, among others.



We have estimated the violations to have the rate of eighty eight (88) cases per month, twenty (20) cases per week and three (3) cases per day.



We called on President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to denounce the killings, investigate the perpetrators and bring them to the folds of the law and justice. But our cries and yells have fallen on deaf ears.



Instead, we are being threatened with a Marcosian iron fist – laws banning rallies and legitimate arenas to seek redress of grievances, curtailment of press freedom, intrusion to civil liberties in the guise of combating terrorism, etc.



We have come to believe that the government’s action and inaction spell culpability to these violations. Worse, it could mean that the Macapagal Arroyo administration officially sanctions the wide scale of repression and curtailment moves.



Immediately after Jovito Palparan was bolted out of his post and upon assumption into office of the new commanding general in the person of Major General Bonifacio Ramos, another leader was felled by bullets. Atty. Norman Bocar, regional chairperson of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan ha Sinirangan Bisayas (BAYAN-SB) and provincial tourism officer of Eastern Samar province was gunned down last September 1, 2005.



On the same date, three (3) employees of the Samar Electric Cooperative II (SAMELCO II) were massacred by armed elements near the camp of the 34th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army in Brgy. Libas, Catbalogan, Samar. Previously in June 2005, a SAMELCO II lineman was abducted and tortured by the same army unit in suspicion that he was aiding the revolutionary New People’s Army (NPA) as its courier.



Again in our region, we are again sounding the bell for us to take notice of the most recent incidents – two killings in a week – similar to what happened previously when Palparan was head of the 8th ID and that of Central Luzon when he assumed post at Fort Magsaysay.



The Killing of Bayan Muna Coordinator Jose A. Ducalang in Ormoc City



Jose A. Ducalang, a 58-year old father of three and a peace-loving citizen residing at Brgy. Ipil, Ormoc City was gunned down by two motorcycle riding men in bonnets last November 7, 2005 at about 5 o’clock in the afternoon. He just came from his work at the city agriculture office and boarded a parked pedicab which would transport him home when the incident happened.



He was the city coordinator of the progressive Bayan Muna party-list.



He sustained a lone gunshot in the abdominal region of his body and was rushed by concerned citizens to the nearby Ormoc Sugar Planter Association-Farmers’ Medical Center (OSPA-FMC). When he was still conscious, he identified the perpetrators as elements of the 19th IB PA based in Brgy. Aguiting, Kananga, Leyte that is being headed by Col. Louie Dayog. He even scribbled the characters “19IB” when asked by documenters on the identities of the assailants.



He died three (3) days later on November 10, 2005 at about 10 o’clock in the evening when his body was not able to withstand the infection brought about by the gunshot wound and its complications.



The Assassination of Former Vice Mayor Ben Bajado



Just this evening (November 13, 2005), we were informed of the tragedy to this soft-spoken man, Ben Bajado. He was also in his 50s, a prominent man in his municipality in Eastern Samar province as he was previously elected as Maydolong town’s vice-mayor in year 2001 under the banner of Bayan Muna partylist.



The informant said that he was gunned down at around 5:00 o’clock in the afternoon today in Maydolong town. He was brought immediately to Eastern Samar Provincial Hospital in the capital town of Borongan but was pronounced dead-on-arrival (DOA).



He was the provincial secretary general of the multi-sectoral group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) and sat as a regional council member of Bayan-Sinirangan Bisayas. An active leader, he helped in the campaign against the ill effects of mining in Manicani and Homonhon islands in Eastern Samar province.



He was also instrumental in putting up progressive sectoral organizations like the Alyansa han mga Parag-uma ha Sinirangan Samar (Alliance of Peasants in Eastern Samar or ALPAS), Katilingbanon nga Pagkaurusa para ha Nasudnon Demokrasya (Unity for National Democracy or KIND) and Kapunungan han mga Barangay Opisyales ha Sinirangan Samar (Organization of Village Officials in Eastern Samar or KAUSA).



He was also a very active council member of Alyansa ha Pagpanalipod han Tawhanon nga Katungod ha Sinirangan Samar (Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights in Eastern Samar or KATUNGOD-ES) and campaigned against the militarization in the region.



Another Wave of Terrorist Attacks on Legal Organizations



The motives of the killings are clear – their involvement in progressive organizations and/or alleged connection with the revolutionary forces.



The identities of the perpetrators are remarkably in the same modus operandi (manner of execution), get-away vehicles and firearms used. They are being tolerated by the government’s inaction and still continue to enjoy impunity.



This is a total disregard to due process and rule of law under the administration of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Jovito Palparan was clear on this when he said that, “at times we have to bypass the due process because we want to take this fast track” when asked regarding the counter-insurgency operations by members of the international church bodies during their Pastoral Ecumenical Delegation Visit (PEDV) to Camp Lukban in July 2005.



This is a time for us to act and collective respond. We cannot just stay and watch idly as our brethren are being killed by no other than armed state agents who have sworn duty to the Philippine flag and to the Filipino people which it represents. The elements of the military who are said to be ‘protectors of the people’ and ‘guardians of democracy’ are killing unarmed civilians and are the very agents who curtail democratic rights.



We therefore call on every freedom-loving Filipinos, all media practitioners, leaders and members of progressive and cause-oriented groups to uphold, defend and struggle for our democratic rights and civil liberties.



Let us not be cowed by the Marcosian rule that Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and her minions in the military are imposing upon us.





CONDEMN THE POLITICAL KILLINGS AND VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS!

UNITE AND CALL FOR JUSTICE FOR ALL VICTIMS OF STATE TERRORISM!

NO TO ANOTHER MARTIAL RULE!

OUST THE FASCIST AND ANTI-PEOPLE PRESIDENT!





For the Regional Secretariat and Council of KATUNGOD-Sinirangan Bisayas,

I respectfully remain,







ALEX GARCIA LAGUNZAD

Secretary-General

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Streetwise*

By Carol Pagaduan-Araullo



Getting away with murder


One never gets used to these things. Political killings of activists,
trade
union and peasant leaders, human rights lawyers and advocates, the
plain
masa whose only crime is that their oppressors suspect they are growing
wise
to their oppression and may soon learn the ways of rebellion.



One never gets used to the anguish or even the quiet grieving of the
widows
and orphans: it is they, more then anyone else, who will have to bear
with
the sudden void in their lives left by a slain spouse, parent, son or
daughter, often the sole breadwinner and guiding light of the family.



No matter that political experience has taught you that the struggle
against
exploitation and oppression invariably exacts its price; that the
exploiters
and oppressors will fight back with all the ruthlessness, cunning and
brutality at their disposal to keep their pelf and privilege and
eliminate
those who would dare challenge the status quo.



Many more will pay that price before the dawn of freedom, justice,
peace and
prosperity can reign in this seemingly god-forsaken country.



In fact there is nothing new in the extrajudicial killings and enforced
disappearances of progressive leaders, activists and even their hapless
sympathizers. The long list includes labor lawyer Hermon Lagman,
Redemptorist priest Rudy Romano, medical doctor Bobby de la Paz, Igorot
leader Macliing Dulag, student leaders Edgar Jopson and Lorena Barros,
and
opposition leader Ninoy Aquino -- along with tens of thousands of
nameless
and faceless farmers, striking workers, urban poor slum dwellers,
church
people, students and even professionals killed during the martial law
years.



Most of them were suspected or held by government to be
rebels/communists/dissident terrorists; the perpetrators were known or
widely believed to be military/police/para-military, in other words,
armed
agents of the state.



The killings did not stop after the overthrow of the US-backed Marcos
dictatorship and the formal trappings of so-called democracy were
restored.
Again the list grows longer: Bayan and Kilusang Mayo Uno Chairperson
Rolando
Olalia, Bayan Secretary-General Lean Alejandro and a host of human
rights
lawyers, who stood up to the almighty power of the state and sought
justice
for their clients, only to be cut down themselves by the assassins’
bullet.



There is nothing new either in the wave of extrajudicial killings under
the
GMA regime. There is nothing new with the fact that perpetrators are
getting away with cold-blooded murder. Impunity is the name of the game
in
this country where government likes to pretend the rule of law
prevails.



What is most alarming and appalling, however, is the intensity and
frequency
of such brazen murders, five of them in 24 hours in the most recent
cases in
Central Luzon, as well as the pattern of deliberate targeting of
unarmed
activists and people’s leaders after a campaign of demonification by
the
military and other right-wing forces has set them up for the kill.



The silence and inaction of the regime of Mrs. Macapagal-Arroyo --
unlike
previous regimes including that of the Marcos fascist dictatorship that
at
least feigned concern as much as professed innocence -- is not just a
sign
of callousness but a signal of approval.



The state continues to give the unmistakable green light to its forces
that
they can continue hitting government critics, especially those who have
been
branded as “communist terrorists” under the pretext
of “counterterrorism”, “counter-destabilization” and that oft-repeated
phrase now bereft of any meaning – “rule of law”.



Indeed the state is laying the ground for increasing repression,
specifically pushing for the immediate enactment of an anti-terrorism
law.
This is the law that the Arroyo regime claims will provide the state
with
the means to go after purported terrorists but is raising the hackles
of
some of its erstwhile authors in Congress for being vague, overbroad
and
draconian in its measures that it can easily be used against legitimate
opposition and dissent.



Especially with the sullied track record of the police and military
institutions, the abuse of authority and trampling of the people’s
democratic rights is bound to follow the enactment of the GMA
anti-terrorism
bill.



How is it possible that despite the legacy of the people’s struggle
against
fascist tyranny, despite the blood of so many heroes and martyrs
spilled in
the fight against unspeakable oppression, the GMA regime is emboldened
and
expects to get away with its policy of state terrorism?



We venture to say that the anti-terrorist hysteria stirred up by the
9-11
bombings and the subsequent US “war on terror” coupled with the anti-
terrorist hype stirred in turn by the GMA regime and aided immeasurably
by
bombings in Mindanao and Metro-Manila (allegedly the handiwork of
shadowy
groups remarkable for their amoeba-like ability to multiply despite
all-out
campaigns of suppression by government) have a lot to do with it.



Another key factor is the intensity of current red-baiting. This
includes
everything from publications to power-point presentations to
anti-communist
slogans sprayed in red paint on any available blank space in the
streets;
where progressive groups and specific individuals have been vilified
and
listed as “enemies of the state”.



Soldiers, police, paramilitary units are especially brainwashed with
this
anti-communist propaganda that has the added twist of deliberately
obscuring
the distinction of combatants from non-combatants, legal from illegal
and
armed from unarmed targets of punitive operations by state forces.



As explained by the notorious anti-communist headhunter, Gen. Jovito
Palparan, activists inevitably transform into guerillas of the New
People’s
Army, so may as well “neutralize” and “eliminate” them before that
happens.
Just like the Marcos years, the Arroyo regime is not lacking in
heartless
butchers ready and willing to carry out even criminal acts in its anti-
insurgency, aka anti-terrorism, campaigns.



It is Mrs. Arroyo’s well-grounded fear of suffering the same fate as
her
predecessor, Joseph Estrada -- of being overthrown, jailed and haled to
court -- that is driving her and her equally spooked toadies and
henchmen to
resort to murder and mayhem in a systematic fashion.



The GMA regime is also shamelessly aping the Bush regime, its mentor
and
chief backer in utilizing “counter-terrorism” as pretext for fascist
measures. The Bush regime has used the “war on terror” to instill fear
in
the hearts of American people. It has succeeded in papering over the
issue
of legitimacy raised against it in the aftermath of proven electoral
fraud,
especially in Florida, and of shoring up and securing bipartisan
support.



The GMA regime is attempting to do the same trick with little success.



US President Bush himself is fast losing his political support with the
US
public quickly realizing how his regime screwed them on Iraq, was next
to
useless in the aftermath of the Katrina disaster and is leading them to
economic ruin in the wake of its disastrous domestic and foreign
policies.



Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo should pay heed.#





Published in Business World

4-5 Nov 2005

Subject: [emjphrlist] Mula kay Dan Dalac, isang reporter ng Pinoy Weekly sa Lalawigan ng Samar


Mula sa isang kapatid sa midya na dinarahas ngayon ng militar sa
lalawigan ng Samar

Narito ang salaysay ng mga kaganapan mula Oktubre 24, 2005 hanggang
Oktubre 28, 2005...

Oktubre 24-26: Tatlong magkakahiwalay na fact-finding mission ang
inilunsad ng Katungod, isang provincial human rights alliance, sa mga
bayan ng Catubig, Las Navas at San Isidro dito sa lalawigan ng
Northern Samar. Layon ng tatlong fact-finding mission na siyasatin ang
mga napaulat na human rights violations diumano ng 63rd Infantry
Battalion, Philippine Army at ng 20th Infantry Battalion, Philippine
Army. Ang 63rd IB, PA na pinamumunuan ni Lt. Col. Manuelito R. Usi ay
matatagpuan sa Opong, Catubig, Northern Samar. Ang 20th IB, PA naman
na pinamumunuan ni Lt. Col. Alfredo B. Fernandez ay matatagpuan sa
Salvacion, San Isidro, Northern Samar.

Oktubre 25: Pumunta ako sa fact-finding mission na inilunsad ng
Katungod sa mga barangay ng Palanit at Mabuhay, bayan ng San Isidro
upang mag-cover sa daloy ng isinasagawang interviews sa mga sinasabing
victims ng human rights violations ng 20th IB, PA. Isang nagpakilalang
Mario Arquiles ang pumunta sa fact finding team sa chapel ng barangay
ng Palanit. Inatasan umano siya ng commanding officer ng 20th IB, PA
na alamin ang purpose ng fact-finding mission. Nagkausap kami ni
Arquiles at binanggit niya na siya ay mula sa Operation Blessing ng
700 Club at taga-Maasin, Southern Leyte. Ang kaniyang office umano ay
nasa headquarters ng 20th IB, PA sa barangay ng Salvacion.

Oktubre 26: Sumabay ako sa fact-finding team sa kanilang pagbalik sa
kabisera ng Catarman mula sa bayan ng San Isidro.

Oktubre 27: Isang maghapong provincial multi-sectoral forum hinggil sa
human rights situation at prospects ng martial law ang ginanap sa
Farmers' Training Center, University of Eastern Philippines, Catarman,
Northern Samar. Ako ang nagsilbing emcee sa naturang forum na
dinaluhan nina Bishop Emmanuel C. Trance ng Diocese of Catarman at
Mayor Francisco C. Rosales Jr. ng Catarman. Pagkatapos ng forum ay
sumama ako kay Monsignor Walter A. Cerbito at Fr. Cecilio P. Lucero
papunta sa bayan ng Catubig dahil may ulat na nauna ng hinarang at
pinigilan ng 63rd IB, PA na makadalo sa forum sa Catarman ang mahigit
500 kinatawan mula sa mga bayan ng Catubig, Las Navas, Laoang,
Palapag, Mapanas, Gamay at Lapinig. Hindi hinarap ni Lt. Col. Usi sina
Msgr. Walter Cerbito, vicar general ng Diocese of Catarman at Fr.
Cecilio P. Lucero, chair ng Human Rights Desk-Social Action Center ng
Diocese of Catarman. Ang mga hinarang na kinatawan mula sa iba't-ibang
bayan ay pinatuloy na lamang sa St. Joseph Church sa Catubig at St.
Anthony Church sa barangay ng Rawis sa bayan ng Laoang.

Oktubre 28: Nag-cover ako sa isang march-rally na inilunsad ng
Katungod-Northern Samar at Bayan-Northern Samar. Layon ng naturang
protest na ipahayag ang result ng tatlong fact-finding missions at
ipanawagan ang pagpapatigil sa anila'y lumalalang human rights
violations ng military sa halos kalakhan ng 24 na municipalities ng
Northern Samar. Kabilang sa mga lumahok ay ang mga kinatawan ng
Katungod-Sinirangan Bisayas, Karapatan-Central Visayas, Fr. Cecilio P.
Lucero at Fr. Fernando M. Bogtong, ang chair ng Justice and Peace
Desk-Social Action Center ng Dicoese of Catarman. Pagkatapos ng
march-rally ay nagsipag-uwian na ang mga delegates mula sa iba't-ibang
municipalities. Sumabay ako sa pag-uwi ng mga kinatawan mula sa bayan
ng San Isidro. Pagitan ng 8 PM at 9PM, ang jeepney at truck ng mga
pauwi sa kani-kanilang barangay sa San Isidro ay hinarang ng isang
team ng military na naglagay ng checkpoint sa tapat ng headquarters ng
20th IB, PA sa barangay ng Salvacion, bayan ng San Isidro. Pawang mga
magsasaka at mangingisda ang lulan ng jeepney na nasakyan ko at ang
truck na kasabay nito. Tinangka kong magtanong sa mga soldiers na
nagpa-stop sa dalawang vehicles kung ano ang reason sa kanilang
pag-hold sa mga vehicles at kung sino ang team leader nila. Ilang ulit
na nag-refuse ang soldiers sa checkpoint na i-reveal ang name ng team
leader nila. Dalawa sa soldiers ang nagsabing kaya nila ayaw pang
i-release ang vehicles dahil ayaw nila sa NPA at military take-over
daw ito. Makailang-ulit silang nag-attempt na pababain ang mahigit 30
na lulan ng dalawang sasakyan ngunit nag-explain at nag-assert akong
sa alituntunin ng checkpoint ay hindi dapat pinabababa ang passengers
ng vehicles. Pinilit pa rin nilang pababain, kapkapan, halughugin ang
mga bag at hingan ng cedula o anumang pagkakakilanlan ang lahat ng
nakasakay sa truck. Matapos nilang gawin ito sa lahat ng nasa truck ay
nabaling muli ang pansin nila sa kinasasakyan kong jeepney. Hinanapan
nila ng license ang driver pinabuksan ang bag ko upang ma-check nila
kung ano ang mga content nito. Dumating din ang lalaking nauna nang
nagpakilala bilang Mario Arquiles ng 700 Club Operation Blessing sa
kagaganap pa lamang na fact finding mission sa barangay ng Palanit.
May dala itong bond paper at ballpen at pinagtatanong ako kung ano ang
name ko at saang institution o organization ako. Binaggit ko ang name
at sinabi kong nasa media ako bukod pa sa connection ko sa Sangguniang
Panlalawigan ng Northern Samar at sa Social Action Center ng Diocese
of Catarman. Bumaba ito at biglang dating naman ng isang galit na
sundalong naka-sleeveless shirt at short pants na biglang umakyat sa
jeepney at sinampal ako. Bumaba agad ang naturang sundalo matapos
akong sampalin at galit na galit na pinabababa ako sa sasakyan kasama
ng lahat ng nasa loob nito. Sumagi sa isip kong maari pang mag-worsen
ang situation at hindi kami makaalis sa checkpoint kaya sinabi kong
bababa lamang ako kung ma-a-assure nila na walang ma-ha-hurt sa aming
passengers sakaling mag-alight kami sa jeepney. Bumaba ako sa jeepney
at nagsisunuran ding bumaba ang mga kasama ko sa vehicles. Ako ang
naging focus ng nang-slap sa akin at muling ipina-search ang bag ko.
Hindi siya pumayag na buksan lamang ito. Ipinalabas niya sa akin ang
lahat ng laman ng bag ko at ipinalapag sa daan habang nakapalibot sa
akin ang ilan pang unipormado at may baril na mga sundalo. Kinapkapan
at hinalughog din nila ang mga bag ng mga magsasaka at mangingisdang
kasama ko sa sasakyang hinarang at pinigil nila. Pinayagan lamang
kaming umalis matapos ang lahat ng ito. Ipinagtanong ko sa mga
nakasama ko kung ano ang pangalan ng sundalong sumampal sa akin at
nagpahalughog sa gamit ko. Ayon sa kanila, ito ay si Second Lieutenant
Ralph Vismen Macasarte na intelligence officer ng 20th IB, PA. Doon na
ako nagpalipas ng magdamag sa bahay ni Sangguniang Bayan member Vito
Vicario sa barangay ng Palanit, bayan ng San Isidro sa pangambang baka
sundan ako hanggang sa bahay ng mga sundalo ng 20th IB, PA. Sinundo
ako ni Monsignor Walter A. Cerbito sa bahay ni Councilor Vito Vicario
noong umaga ng Oktubre 29 upang maipaalam sa isang press conference ng
Katungod-Northern Samar at Bayan-Northern Samar ang naganap na
pananampal, panghahalughog at pagtatanong sa akin ng mga sundalo sa
checkpoint ng 20th IB, PA sa Salvacion, San Isidro, Northern Samar.

Tulungan niyo sana akong ilantad ang ginawang pananakit at
panghahalughog ng 20th IB, PA at papanagutin ang kanilang hanay sa
kanilang lantarang paglabag sa aking mga karapatan bilang isang
mamamahayag at mamamayan. Batid kong hindi magiging madali ang
paglalantad at paniningil sa kanila dahil nahaharap din ako at apat
pang katao sa libel suit na isinampa ni Lt. Col. Manuelito R. Usi ng
63rd IB, PA sa Branch 21 ng Regional Trial Court sa Laoang, Northern
Samar ngunit hindi dapat hayaang lumala at lumaganap ang mga paglabag
sa karapatan ng mamamayan dito sa Northern Samar at sa kahit saan pang
dako ng Eastern Visayas at Pilipinas.

Damo nga salamat.


DAN ESPONILLA DALAC
Correspondent, Pinoy Weekly, Eastern Times, Union of Catholic Asian
News-Philippines; Researcher-Writer, Office of Board Member Herbert R.
Esponilla; Volunteer, Social Action Center-Diocese of Catarman

Initiatives for Peace in Mindanao (InPeace)
Room 101, Kalinaw Center for Interfaith Resources,
Juna Subd., Matina, Davao City
Tel./Fax : (082) 299-4964
e-mail : mindainpeace@yahoo.com
kalinaw@gmail.com


November 4, 2005
Statement

Subic rape stirs echoes of US military atrocities in Mindanao


While there is public outcry for justice for the 22-year-old woman from
Zamboanga who was raped by six US Marines in Subic, InPeace Mindanao
likewise calls for the immediate pull-out of US troops in Mindanao and
the
abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the Mutual
Defense
Treaty.

The rape case is one of the many atrocities committed by US troops in
the
conduct of joint US-RP exercises. We recall the incident in Manarapan,
Carmen, North Cotabato in mid-2004, where one elderly woman, fearing
that a
military operation was underway, died of a heart attack in the panic
that
followed the arrival of US reconnaissance troops in two helicopters and
trucks. Until now, no action has been made by either the US or
Philippine
government to investigate this incident and indemnify the victim's
family.

We also recall the case of Buyongbuyong Isnijal of Tuburan, Basilan in
July
25, 2002 who was shot by a US soldier during a raid of his village in
the
course of the Balikatan exercises. The AFP continues to cover up a
clear
case of frustrated murder by US soldiers by claiming that Isnijal is an
Abu
Sayyaf member although he was actually shot when he was defenseless at
his
home in full view of his family.

These recent incidents, not to mention the countless abuses in the
course of
the US military bases' stay in Olongapo and Angeles, give credence to
the
call to stop the US-led "war on terror" supported by the Arroyo
government
and to scrap the lopsided VFA and MDT. US troops, who arrogate upon
themselves the role of "countering terrorism," are in fact the ones
sowing
terror, indignity and violence to our people and communities where
these
exercises are held.

The rape incident brings to mind the many incidences of sexual violence
committed by US soldiers during the US Bases' stay. As the Gabriela
organization had reported, there were 82 cases of sexual abuses against
women and 15 cases against children perpetrated by US soldiers before
the US
Bases Agreement was terminated in September 1991.

The incident also echoes rape cases in US military installations in
other
countries particularly that of a 12-year-old girl by three US soldiers
stationed in the American bases of Okinawa, Japan in 1996. The rape and
the
many other indignities suffered by Japanese peasants in Okinawa have
made
the US bases there very unpopular and are poised to be booted out.

With the Subic rape disclosure, we are emboldened to vigorously oppose
any
move by the Philippine and Japanese governments to effect the transfer
of
the Okinawa Bases to Mindanao as reported by the Japanese press early
this
year. (Talks between Philippine and Japanese defense officials
reportedly
took place in February 9 this year. A "consultative meeting" between US
and
Japanese defense and foreign officials also reportedly began February
19 in
Washington to hammer out a new security pact which involves
transferring US
forces from Okinawa and "making them mobile and near 'security
hotspots' and
anti-terrorist operations." This, even as there already have been media
reports of US construction of a naval base in G'lan, Sarangani
Province.)

The Arroyo government is to be made accountable for its impending total
surrender of jurisdiction over the criminal US soldiers in the Subic
rape
case. By its inactions over reported US troops' atrocities in the past,
and
by flaunting its support to the Bush-led "anti-terror" war, this
government
has given tacit approval to the impunity of US troops in violating our
domestic laws. The fact that it has left the handling of this case to
the
Department of Foreign Affairs indicates that Malacañang does not want
to
ruffle American feathers, much less exercise jurisdiction over this
outrageous crime.

While it has demonstrated its utter lack of adherence to national
sovereignty and its apathy to the cries of the victims of US military
atrocities, the Arroyo government is demanded by our people and our
Constitution to uphold justice, defend our national dignity and stand
by our
sovereignty.

We do not want another incident of a Filipina being raped, or a farmer
being
shot, or the elderly being seized with fear. Again, we reiterate our
call to
abrogate the VFA and the MDT, and pull out US troops in Mindanao, the
rest
of the country and elsewhere. We also demand for justice through the
immediate prosecution of US soldiers as well as the indemnification of
all
victims of violations committed by US troops in the Philippines.

As a group advocating a just peace in Mindanao, we pledge to resist the
reign of US militarism in our island, in our country, and in the rest
of the
world. #


For reference:
ATTY. BEVERLY SELIM-MUSNI
Convenor
0920-923-5800

27 October 2005





Dear Madame President:



Killings of, and attacks on, human rights defenders in the Philippines



The Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility (ECCR) is a UK
church-based non-governmental organisation working to promote corporate
responsibility in companies and in the churches.



I am writing to express ECCR's deep concern regarding the continued attack
on the lives and safety of human rights defenders in the Philippines.
Specifically, we are outraged at recent killings targeting church leaders,
trade union leaders, lawyers, human rights activists and members of
progressive groups.



We are aware that ten people were murdered from September to mid-October
alone. Among them were the following leaders:



. Mrs. Vicky Samonte, stabbed to death while on board a public
utility vehicle on 30 September 2005. Mrs. Samonte was the president of
Andres Soriano Memorial College Employees Union and Regional Vice-Chair of
KMU-Caraga.



. Mr. Diosdado Fortuna, summarily executed 22 September 2005 by two
unidentified men riding a motorcycle. Mr. Fortuna was the president of the
Nestle Philippines Workers Union.



. Rev. Raul Domingo died on 4 September 2005, two weeks after being
shot by suspected military agents in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. He was a
35-year old pastor of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, an
anti-mining activist and one of the many church leaders who called for
radical reforms within the government.



. Atty. Norman Bocar was killed on 1 September 2005 in Borongan,
Eastern Samar. He was a human rights lawyer and the Regional Chairman of
BAYAN.



. An attempt was made on the life of Mr. Tony Cuizon, president of
the Atlas Mining Workers Union, on 10 October 2005 in Cebu City. Mr.
Cuizon bore three gunshot wounds near the shoulder and one on his right
hand. He is in a serious condition.



This week, on 25 October 2005, Ka Ricardo Ramos, president of the Central
Azucarera de Tarlac Labor Union (CATLU), was killed by suspected military
agents. The next day Franciso Rivera, a Bayan Muna leader in Pampanga,
with friends Dr. Angel David, a dentist, and Mr Jon Sabas were sprayed
with bullets while jogging. All were killed.



The targeted killings have included members of the National Council of
Churches in the Philippines (NCCP), the Promotion of Church People's
Response (PCPR), the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP),
the Ecumenical Bishops Forum (EBF) and allied groups working for social
justice.



ECCR is greatly alarmed by the unabated killings and escalation of human
rights abuses in the Philippines under your administration, and by the
impunity with which these crimes are committed by the military. As our
church-based partners have informed us, almost 100 people have been killed
since the beginning of 2005.



We call on you as a person of faith, and the person in charge of national
defence, to do all in your power to stop further killings and atrocities
committed against the Filipino people. We call on you to ensure that their
human rights are respected and protected.



We ask you to conduct immediate investigations into all of these killings
and atrocities and bring to justice those found responsible.



Please make public your firm and principled stand against this wave of
human rights violations in your country



Yours sincerely



Miles Litvinoff

ECCR Co-ordinator





copies to:



Hon. Chairperson Dr. Purificacion Quisumbing
Commission on Human Rights, Philippines

drpvg@chr.gov.ph



Hon Secretary Avelino Cruz
Department of National Defense, Philippines
<_javascript:vcMail('dnd.gov.ph','snd')> snd@dnd.gov.ph



Sharon Rose Ruiz Duremdes
General Secretary, National Council of Churches in the Philippines cc
srjrduremdes@edsamail.com.ph



Ambassador Edgardo B. Espiritu

Philippine Embassy, London, UK

consulars@philemb.org.uk



HE Mr Peter Beckingham

British Ambassador to the Republic of the Philippines, Manila

uk@info.com.ph



Rt Hon Jack Straw MP

Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, London, UK

private.office@fco.gov.uk

4 November 2005

An Open Letter to Women of Faith in the US

Dear Sisters,

Greetings from the Philippines!

Early morning today, we read in the newspaper the rape of a 22-year old
woman by six US marine soldiers. The paper did not mention her
name—still she is our sister and she is your sister, too. We grieve as
we
read
each line of the news. We grieve over how our women are being
victimized by
the foolish US-led war on terror abrasively and callously imposed on
nations and people. We witness the acts of terror waged by the US
troops
under the
command of your President, George W. Bush.

Six US marines violated our sister! It is not only this nameless woman
who was violated, but the entire Filipino people were defiled as well.
Supposedly they are here for military exercises to train our soldiers
to fight terrorism. Alas! They have terrorized a young woman!

Is this what your President wish to happen in his reckless effort to
counter terrorism? Is this how your taxes are used? Do you pay your
taxes to
your marines so that they could rape the poor women of other countries?

Please join us and our people in demanding the immediate pull out of US
troops in our country, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Japan, Korea and
elsewhere. We believe that in your heart you do not wish your sister,
daughter,
mother and loved one to be raped and abused as your government invades
the
wealth
and territories around the world in the guise of ‘war on terror’. With
all
the atrocities the US wars of aggression did in the past and in the
present
we can only conclude that terrorism is all about invading other nations
for power, supremacy and control.

In the midst of economic woes and widespread poverty under the US
puppet government of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, we call upon you to
summon
your
government to STOP US Wars of Aggression, and to pull out US troops in
the Philippines and elsewhere.

Let our sister-bonding be strengthened by our deep resolve to eradicate
the violence of invasion, exploitation and oppression. No more rape! No
more abuse of children and women! No more defilement of any nation’s
honor!
Stop US wars around the world!

For KASIMIBAYAN Wome'ns Collective,

Norma P. Dollaga
General Secretary
KASIMBAYAN Women’s Collective
(Kapatirang Simbahan Para sa Bayan/Ecumenical
Center for Development)
3/F NCCP 879 Edsa QC Philippines
T 9251786
**************************

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

MEDIA STATEMENT

IBON Foundation, Inc., 3/F SCC Bldg 4427 Interior Old Sta. Mesa, Manila, Philippines

Tel. (632) 713-2729 / 713-2737 * Fax (632) 716-0108 * E-mail: media@ibon.org * www.ibon.org

October 7, 2005







SUBSIDY EXTENSION STOP-GAP SOLUTION TO HIGH POWER RATES





The staggered removal of inter-class cross subsidies is merely a mitigating measure for overburdened consumers, while the fundamental causes behind high electricity costs remain unaddressed, according to independent think-tank IBON.



The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) recently announced that the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) had approved the extension of the subsidies for another year. Subsidy levels will now be removed in two equal stages: 50% this November and the remaining half in November 2006. The full removal of subsidies was supposed to be completed by November 2005.



The subsidy phase-out will result in higher energy rates for residential users, while lowering rates for commercial and industrial users.



According to IBON, the extension is clearly another move by the beleaguered Arroyo government to gain public support. But electricity costs still remain high and will rise further once the expanded value-added tax (EVAT) is finally implemented.



Roots of high power rates should be urgently addressed, namely the privatization and deregulation of the electricity industry and profiteering by foreign and local corporations that have virtual monopoly control over the sector.



Government’s moves to attract foreign investors to the power sector resulted in the granting of sweetheart contracts to independent power producers (IPPs) with patently onerous provisions such as the “take or pay” provision, and the fuel-cost guarantee, which requires Napocor to supply and pay for the fuel used in the IPPs’ plants. The cost of these provisions was passed on to consumers through cost recovery mechanisms such as the Purchased Power Cost Adjustment (PPA) and Fuel Cost Adjustment (FCA) that bloated electricity bills.



But private energy distributor Meralco also engages in profiteering by sourcing more of its electricity from its sister IPPs than from Napocor power plants, at a higher cost.



These problems have not been addressed by reform measures mandated under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA), which calls for the privatization of Napocor by selling off its assets and spinning off its transmission facilities into a separate corporation that will also eventually be privatized. It also mandates the removal of inter-grid (between grids), intra-grid (within grids) and inter-class cross subsidies.



Privatization would only further cement monopoly control of the power sector by foreign and local corporations through cross-ownership of the transmission, distribution and generation sectors. With a captive market, private corporations would take every opportunity to make a profit through higher rates. The removal of the cross-subsidy system would also marginalize poor users and adversely affect small consumers from Visayas and Mindanao.



According to IBON, the power sector should not be left in private, profit-oriented hands but must be under substantial state control to benefit the people. To definitively address the problem of high power rates in the country, the public should not accept stop-gap solutions but instead continue to call for a reverse in the deregulation and privatization of Napocor and the power sector by scrapping the EPIRA, and the cancellation of the most onerous IPP contracts. An efficient cross-subsidy system should also be pushed to ensure that its intended beneficiaries really enjoy the subsidies. (end)

Please find below IBON Features Vol. XI No. 47 on the social costs of mining investments.



IBON Features/October 2005





GRIM REALITY BEHIND MINING INVESTMENTS



As the Arroyo administration guns for gold in mining, the country is ultimately left with nothing but environmental destruction, social displacement and financial bleeding.



By Jennifer del Rosario-Malonzo





IBON Features-- The Philippines is once again hosting a gathering of mining corporations this coming October 11 to 13. The Asia Pacific Mining Conference and Exhibition 2005 will be graced by no less than President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo who will give the keynote address. As the Arroyo administration guns for gold in mining, the country is ultimately left with nothing but environmental destruction, social displacement and financial bleeding.



Investments vs. Costs



A modest estimate made by the World Bank in a study called “Philippine Environment Monitor 2004-Assessing Progress” says that the Philippines loses over $2 billion dollars annually due to environmental degradation. Yet the Arroyo government is doggedly pursuing foreign investments in one of the dirtiest industries ever-- mining.



The government reports that mining investments in January to September 2005 soared to $345 million, poured in by 23 mining firms led by Coral Bay (Palawan Nickel Project), Lafayette Philippines Inc. (Rapu-Rapu Polymetallic Project), Australasian Philippines Mining Inc. (Didipio Copper-Gold Project), TVI Resources (Canatuan Gold Project), Lepanto Consolidated Mining Co. (Far-Southeast Gold Project), Filmenera Resources (Masbate Gold Project) and Eagle Cement Corp. (Akle Cement Project).



The World Bank estimate only includes damage from water pollution, mismanagement of fishery resources, and air pollution in four urban centers. It also excludes social costs and the loss of quality of life.



The mining process has always been equated with environmental destruction-- deforestation, slope destabilization, soil erosion, desertification, water resource degradation, defertilization, crop damages, siltation, alteration of terrain and sea-bottom topography, increased water turbidity and air pollution.



Mining operations in the Philippines have damaged forests, agricultural lands, river systems and marine resources, displacing thousands of indigenous peoples and upland dwellers, peasants and fisherfolk.



With transnational corporations (TNCs) dominating the industry, the result has been plunder of the country’s resources with only a pittance given to the government-- as these finite resources are exported, and the income and profits quickly repatriated to mining TNCs’ home countries.



Abandoned



The people are then left to suffer the consequences of government’s irresponsibility and the TNCs’ greed. One example is the all too common pattern of mines closing down and companies leaving the destruction wrought by their operations.



The government, for instance, has identified some 20 abandoned sites in need of rehabilitation. Early this year, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources announced its plan to clean up seven abandoned mines, which will require P35 million. Ironically, the rationale behind the plan is still to attract mining investors.



Killed



Mine wastes and tailings pose the greatest threats, including siltation of irrigation canals, paddy fields and rivers, poisoning of water systems and the reduction of flora and fauna. Tailing spills, like what happened in Marcopper’s mining site in Marinduque that killed the Boac River, are the costliest hazards, financially, ecologically and socially.



Mining operations, which require clearing of acres of forests, also cause catastrophes such as landslides and flash floods. These cost the country roughly P15 billion annually, according to the World Bank. But the toll on human life and the anguish suffered by the people can never be quantified.



Making TNCs liable



Thus, the figures flaunted by the government, such as the $6-$7 billion potential investments in the next 10 years, the P57 billion annual tax revenues and $800 million exports are in reality canceled out by the economic, social and environmental costs of TNC mining operations in the country.



Instead of pursuing and supporting mining investors in the country, IBON Foundation, a member of Defend Patrimony, an alliance of groups opposed to large-scale TNC mining, urges government to hold mining companies liable for their environmental and social crimes. IBON Features





IBON Features is a media service of IBON Foundation, an independent economic policy and research institution. When reprinting this feature, please credit IBON Features and give the byline when applicable.

MEDIA STATEMENT

IBON Foundation, Inc., 3/F SCC Bldg 4427 Interior Old Sta. Mesa, Manila, Philippines

Tel. (632) 713-2729 / 713-2737 * Fax (632) 716-0108 * E-mail: media@ibon.org * www.ibon.org

October 6, 2005





ANTI-TERROR BILL GMA’S CALLOUS ANSWER TO WORSENING CRISIS



In response to the social unrest brought about by the persistent question on the Arroyo administration’s legitimacy and anti-people economic policies, the government is now reviving the Anti-Terrorism bill.



According to IBON research director Antonio Tujan, the Anti-Terror bill draft that the two House committees recently approved is just the latest attack on civil liberties and human rights undertaken by the Arroyo regime, which is taking its cue from the US-led war on terror. The Anti-Terrorism bill, if passed into law, could be used against progressive organizations staging protests on legitimate economic and political issues.



The bill’s definition of “terrorism” is so ambiguous and broad that it could also be used against individuals or groups perceived as opposing or criticizing government. The bill also gives the Secretary of Justice the right to place organizations or individuals on a “terrorist list”. The bill further seeks to limit media access to so-called “terrorist” groups, which could allow government to tag “opposition” groups as “terrorists” and thus deny them the right to air their views in the mass media.



As it is, activists, peasants, trade unionists and other sectors opposing the administation’s neoliberal policies, corruption and anti-people policies are already being assaulted and killed by military and police forces, and paramilitary groups nationwide. The Anti-Terror bill will only further worsen the human rights violations against these groups.



The Arroyo government should realize that public protests are foremostly a result of its unpopular economic policies, which have caused much hardship to Filipinos, says Tujan. Its support for trade and investment liberalization, privatization and deregulation have already degraded the domestic economy and left it with a greatly diminished production base. This has resulted in widespread joblessness and the highest rates of unemployed and underemployed Filipinos in years.



Arroyo’s fiscal adjustment approach along lines most acceptable to the country’s creditors puts the burden of adjustment on the people. For example, the implementation of the expanded Value-Added Tax (EVAT) is sure to result in consumers paying more for basic commodities and services, since it lifts exemptions on the oil and power sectors. The burden of EVAT will be further worsened by government’s position not to regulate oil prices in the wake of skyrocketing world oil prices.



Urgent measures such as price controls, wage hikes, raising tariffs on sensitive products, sound debt management, and increased spending for social services are actions that should immediately be undertaken. More importantly, the administration should seriously face the questions against its legitimacy, and put and end in creating a harsh and repressive environment against legitimate protesters and dissidents. (end)

7 October 2005





President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo

Office of the President

Malacañang Palace

JP Laurel Street

San Miguel

Manila NCR 1005

Philippines







Dear President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo,

As churches and church-related organisations we are deeply concerned at the killings of 34 activists in the Philippines so far in the year 2005. The people killed include members of the clergy. The latest people to be killed are

· Diosdado Fortuna who was shot in the back by suspected military agents on 22 September 2005 in Laguna.

· Rev. Raul Domingo who died in hospital on 4 September 2005, two weeks after being shot by suspected military agents in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.

· Atty Norman Bocar was shot in the head by suspected military agents on 1 September 2005 in Borongan in Eastern Samar

On 14-21 July 2005 a delegation of church leaders from the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) came to the Philippines at the invitation of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) to investigate the human rights situation. They noted the rising number of murders of activists and observed that "large-scale human rights violations including police and military intimidation, illegal detention, and torture of peasants working on the farms of rich landlords are being perpetrated."

The WCC/CCA delegation also stated that:

"Among the root causes of the current turmoil in the country are: the inadequacies of state institutions such as the judiciary, inequitable distribution of resources which traps many Filipinos in abject poverty, and the monopoly of transnational corporations and other foreign interests in resource exploitation."

The Gospel leads Christians to a commitment to a just and equitable society in which every human being has God given significance and dignity.

We mourn each of those killed and we deplore the ongoing violence and killing. We stand in solidarity with the struggle of the Filipino people to achieve their civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. We assert their right to take non-violent action in defence of those rights without violent reprisal.

As supporters of the Trade for People Campaign we are committed to using human rights principles to challenge economic injustice. We oppose legislation and trade rules that put corporate profits before people's lives and well-being and the integrity of the environment.

We urge you to take the following actions:

· To carry out immediate and impartial investigations into all recent extrajudicial executions. To make the results of these investigations public and to ensure that anyone found responsible is brought to justice.

· To promote agrarian and land rights reform which enables rural women and men to have more access to natural resources.

· To repeal legislation, including the 1995 Mining Act, which puts corporate profit before the interests of people and the environment.

Yours sincerely,

Organisations:

Action Chrétienne pour le Développement du Sahel

APRODEV

Ecumenical Coalition on Tourism

Bread for all, Development Service of the Protestant Churches in Switzerland

Catholic Bishops' Conference of India, Commission for Justice, Peace and Development

Ceasefire Project, Lagos, Nigeria

Chethana, A Joining Hands Against Hunger global partnership with the Presbyterian Church (USA) in India

Christian World Service, National Council of Churches in Australia

Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance

Franciscans International

Forum for Child Rights, National Council of Churches in India

Justice and Peace Commission of the Missionaries of Africa in the Netherlands

Iglesia Evangélica del Río de la Plata , Argentina

KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives

LWF Cambodia

Lutheran World Federation

Lutheran World Relief

Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, USA

Moravian Church in Tanzania

Movimiento Continental de Cristianos por la Paz con Justicia y Dignidad

Norwegian Church Aid

Pastoral Ecuménica VIH-SIDA, Argentina

Presbyterian World Service & Development, Canada

Simalungun Protestant Christian Church

United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries, USA

United Evangelical Lutheran Church in India

United Evangelical Mission, Communion of Churches in Three Continents

United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society (USA)

United Methodist Church, General Board of Global Ministries (USA)

World Alliance of Reformed Churches

World Council of Churches

World Alliance of YMCAs

World YWCA

Individuals:

John Andrews, The Church of the Martyrs,, Leicester, UK

Rev'd Mark Battison, St. James the Greater, Leicester, UK

Mary Eucharia

John M. Hull, All Saints Parish Church, King's Heath, Birmingham, UK

Rev. George H. Humbert, Jr., Chairperson Joining Hands Against Hunger in Giddings-Lovejoy Presbytery -- St. Louis, MO and Pastor of College Avenue Presbyterian Church Alton, IL, USA

Reverends R & M Lambert, Diocese of Leicester, UK

David Marchesi

Mr Richard Meredith, Emmanuel Church, Loughborough, UK

Marie Nuala Mottley PBVM, Presentation Office for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation, Manchester, UK

Sheila O'Gorman

Jacqueline C Patterson

Lisa Pires

John Plant, Team Rector, The Benefice of Market Bosworth and Sheepy, Leicester Diocese, Church of England

Dr. Karl Schoenberg, EED

Rev. Steven J. Sprecher, Lake Oswego United Methodist Church, Lake Oswego, OR USA

Revd. Ruth Souter,, Curate of St Peter's Church, Braunstone Park,, Leicester, UK

Kurt Struckmeyer

CC:

Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines

National Council of Churches in the Philippines

SO IT'S GOD'S FAULT AFTER ALL!


Bush claimed God told him to invade Iraq, Afghanistan: BBC Thu Oct 6,
8:36 PM ET

US President George W. Bush allegedly said God told him to invade Iraq
and Afghanistan, a new BBC documentary will reveal, according to
details.

Bush made the claim when he met Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas and
then foreign minister Nabil Shaath in June 2003, the ministers told
the documentary series to be broadcast in Britain later this month.

The US leader also told them he had been ordered by God to create a
Palestinian state, the ministers said.

Shaath, now the Palestinian information minister, said: "President
Bush said to all of us: 'I'm driven with a mission from God.

'God would tell me, 'George, go and fight those terrorists in
Afghanistan'.'

"And I did, and then God would tell me, 'George, go and end the
tyranny in Iraq...' And I did.

"'And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, 'Go get the
Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get
peace in the Middle East.' And by God I'm gonna do it'," said Shaath.

Abbas, who was also at the meeting in the Egyptian resort of Sharm
al-Sheikh, recalled how the president told him: "I have a moral and
religious obligation.

"So I will get you a Palestinian state."

A BBC spokesman said the content of the programme had been put to the
White House but it had refused to comment on a private conversation.

The three-part series, "Elusive Peace: Israel and the Arabs", charts
the attempts to bring peace to the Middle East, from former US
president Bill Clinton's peace talks in 1999-2000 to Israel's
withdrawal from the Gaza strip.

The programme speaks to presidents and prime ministers, their generals
and ministers, about what happened behind closed doors as the peace
talks failed and the intifada grew.

The series is due to be screened in Britain on October 10, 17 and 24.

Copyright (c) 2005 Agence France Presse.

Regional Forum kabahin han IHL ginpanagbalayan
han International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) ngan PNRC


An pinaka-syahan nga panrehiyunal nga porum nga naghihisgot han
International Humanitarian Law (o IHL) in ginpangamay-amayan han
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) ngan Philippine
National Red Cross (PNRC) ha pagsalin-urog han international peace
consciousness month nga ginhimo ha Ritz Tower de Leyte, Syudad han
Tacloban han nakalabay nga ika-30 han Setyembre yana nga tuig.

Nagin mayor nga tagapagyakan hini hira Hon. Bettina Scholdan, usa nga
Austrian nga delegado han ICRC ha Pilipinas, Cecilia Belda Follente,
an communication officer han ICRC ngan Atty. Soliman Santos, vice
chair han National IHL Committee han PNRC local red cross society.

An tulo nga mga tinaglawas han red cross naghisgot han ka
mahinungdanon han IHL komo "balaud ha gerra" ngan komo aludayday nga
naggigiya han gerra sibil giutan han gubyerno han Pilipinas ngan han
Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army-National
Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) ug sugad man han gubyerno ngan Moro
Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Nahisabtan tikang ha mao nga porum
nga an pakig-away han CPP-NPA-NDF ngan MILF in mga lehitimo
nga "internal armed conflict" o "wars of non-international character".

Nahisgutan liwat ha mao nga katitirok an ka-aplikable han IHL labi na
an tinatawag nga Protocol 2 han Geneva Conventions ha aton rehiyon
labi na an masunod:

Una, an paglalain han mangaraway (combatant) ngan mga sibilyan tante
han pagpanalipod han mga sibilyan kontra han pangatake han armado nga
combatant,

Pangaduha, mayda liwat katungod an mga mangaraway o combatant giutan
han gerra labi na kun mawarayan kapas umato o masulod han kategorya
nga `hors de combat",

Ikatulo, an ICRC mayda mandate ngan international reputation para
manginano diri la ha mga panahon hin kalamidad sugad hin katgutom,
bagyo, linog, baha ngan grabe nga huraw kundi magin ha sitwasyon hin
armado nga aragway. May responsibilidad an ICRC nga atimanon an mga
biktima han armado nga agway – magin combatant man ha magkaluyo nga
panig ug sugadman an mga sibilyan nga natataraan hini.

Gintambungan an nasabi nga porum han mga tinaglawas han mga tsapter
han PNRC ha iba-iba nga probinsya han Sinirangan Bisayas, mga
empleyado ha gubyerno, mga tinaglawas han media, mga unipormado nga
personahes han Philippine National Police (PNP) ug Armed Forces of
the Philippines (AFP) nga amo an nahilalakbit hin mga seryoso nga
akusasyon hin pagtalapas han IHL dinhi ha aton dapit, ngan mga cause-
oriented groups parehan han KATUNGOD-Sinirangan Bisayas, Promotion of
Church People's Response (PCPR) ngan BAYAN-Sinirangan Bisayas.

Iginpadayag naman ni Alex Lagunzad, secretary-general han KATUNGOD-SB
an nahitatabo nga pangangampo ha mga eskwelahan, barangay halls ug
sugadman an pagtig-ob ha mga sibilyan ha ira mga balay ngan komunidad
han Pwersa Armada han Pilipinas nga nahitatabo ha magkadurudilain nga
parte han rehiyon komo talapas han IHL ngan ini in ginkarawat han
ICRC.

Mayor nga magin karukayaknon naman han mao nga porum an isyu nga
ginbabatak han militar kontra han NPA nga amo an paggamit hin
landmines ha ira operasyon. Iginpaklaro ni Atty. Soliman Santos nga
an IHL ngan iba pa nga protocol diri nagtutuyo nga warayon an kapas
umato han NPA kontra han mga tangke-de-gerra ngan higtaas nga kalibre
hin pusil han AFP, kundi an pagmenos han kaswalidad labi na han mga
sibilyan. Iginpaklaro gihapon niya nga an Claymor mines o an mga
anti-tank/anti-vehicle landmines in igintutugot han balaud ha gerra.
Bisan ngani an command-detonated nga anti-personnel landmines parehas
han Claymor in diri igindidiri han IHL (o anuman han mga
international covenants) tungod kay ginagamit la ini ngadto han mga
legitimate military targets, diri parehas han pressure-detonated
landmines han Estado Unidos ha Vietnam nga naringgal/nakaghibang hin
damo nga sibilyan bisan pa man katapos na han gerra sibil.

Ha pagtatapos, iginpaklaro ni Atty. Santos han National IHL Committee
an masunod nga punto: "The NPA is very aware of these rules. The
question about the other side, is it responsible enough to observe
IHL? Our own study in our campaign to ban landmines states that in
general, the NPA uses improvised Claymor mines that are command-
detonated. In other words, they are conscious with the rules that it
should not be victim-activated…It should be targeted only against
legitimate military targets".

Nahisgutan liwat ha mao nga katitirok an kamahinungdanon han CAR-HR-
IHL o an Komprehensibo nga Kasarabutan ha Pagrespeto han Tawhanon nga
Katungod ngan Internasyunal nga Makatawo nga Balaud nga pinirmahan
giutan han gubyerno ngan National Democratic Front. ###

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Tyrants, The Class Struggle and Harry Potter

"... Don't you see? Voldemort himself created his worst enemy, just as
tyrants everywhere do! Have you any idea how much tyrants fear the
people they oppress? All of them realize that, one day, amongst their
many victims, there is sure to be one who rises against them and
strikes back!..."


- Dumbledore to Harry (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince)

Monday, September 26, 2005

Harry James Potter's Spell Book
From: http://www.darkmark.com/c.c?l=spells&t=Spell%20Book


Accio! - The summoning charm. Summons a specific object to the wand bearer. (Accio [name of object]!)

Alohomora! - Unlocks doors

Anapnec! - Clears obstructed airways

Aparecium! - Makes invisible ink appear

Avis! - Conjures birds

Colloportus! - Applies a magical lock on a door that can only be lifted by the Alohamora spell
Deletrius! - Disintegrating spell

Densaugeo! - Makes the victims teeth enlarge

Diffindo! - Rips objects in half

Dissendium! - Opens a secret passageway to Hogsmeade

Enervate! - Revives someone after being knocked out, or being the recipient of the Stunning Spell (Stupefy!)

Engorgio! - Enlarges objects

Episkey! - Heals minor injuries

Evanesco! - The vanishing spell. Makes anything vanish

Expecto Patronum! - A silvery wall that stands between the wand bearer and a dementor. Only a powerful wizard can conjure a Patronous strong enough to ward a group of dementors

Expelliarmus! - Disarms whoever the wand is aimed at

Ferula! - Bandages a wounded body part on whoever the wand is aimed at

Finite Incantatem! - Can stop mass commotion

Furnunculus! - Gives you boils

Incendio! - Conjures fire

Inpedimenta! - Slows any mobile object down

Impervious! - Repels water from whatever the bearers wand is aimed at

Langlock! - Glues victim's tongue to the roof of their mouth

Leglimens! - Incantation used by wizards who practice Legilimency. It is used to enter a person's mind, possibly controlling the person

Levicorpus! - A non-verbal spell that causes a person to be lifted off their feet and dangled in the air

Liberacorpus! - The counter spell for Levicorpus. Sets the person down from mid-air

Locomotor Mortis! - Stops someone from moving their legs

Lumos! - Makes light come out of the end of the bearer's wand

Mobiliarbus! - Hovers objects

Mobilicorpus! - Creates invisible strings used to move things

Muffliato! - Fills ears of people around the castor with unidentifiable buzzing, useful to keep people from overhearing things they shouldn't

Nox! - Puts out light from bearers wand (the oposite of Lumos!)

Obliviate! - Charm that eliminates a person's memory. Usually used on Muggles who discover the Wizarding World

Orchideous! - Makes flowers come out of the bearer's wand

Peskipiksi Pesternomi! - Useless spell developed by Lockhart, supposed to round up pixies

Petrificus Totalus! - Full body-bind, causes whomever the wand is directed at to turn as stiff as a board

Point Me! - Four point spell, points to north; Makes the bearer's wand act like a compass

Prior Incantato! - Reveals previous spell(s) conjured by a wand

Protego! - Shields the wand bearer from minor spells, charms, and hexes

Quietus! - Makes voice quieter


Reducio! - Decreases the size of something

Reducto! - The Reductor Curse blasts solid objects out of the way

Relashio! - The Banishing charm. Releases objects to a specific place

Reparo! - Fixes broken objects

Rictusempra! - Tickles whoever the bearer's wand is aimed at and laugh uncontrollably as a result

Riddikulus! - Used to defend against boggarts; Makes the boggart take the shape of the wand bearer's most humourous thought

Scourgify! - Cleans dirt off anything

Sectusempra! - A very powerful curse that causes the victim to receive a deep cut, which could kill

Serpensortia! - Makes a snake come out of the bearer's wand

Silencio! - The Silencing spell. Used to tune out a person's voice. Usually used to counteract the "Sonorus" spell.

Sonorus! - Magnifies a person's voice

Stupefy! - Stunning spell

Tarantallegra! - Also known as the "Jelly Legs Jinx." Makes a person dance uncontrollably; Makes whoever bearers wand is aimed at legs move

Tergeo! - Clears away dry blood

Waddiwasi! - Shoots objects at a high speed; In book 3 Professor Lupin uses it to send gum up Peeves nose

Wingardium Leviosa! - Makes things levitate

The Unforgivable Curses
Imperio! - The Imperius Curse gives total control to the bearer of the wand

Crucio! - The Cruciatus Curse is total pain to receiver of the curse

Avada Kedavra! - The Killing Curse. Uttering this curse will cause a green flash of light to emit from the wand and kill the victim

The Dark Mark
Morsmordre! - Sends the Dark Mark into the air, a symbol of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. The spell is summoned by a Death Eater, the name given to Voldemort's supporters.

Charms and Hexes
The following is a list of charms and hexes which we have come to be aware of throughout the books, but their incantations are unknown.


Anti-Cheating Spell - Used for any examinations. Prevents students from cheating. Effects unknown

Bubblehead Charm - Creates a bubble on the wand bearer's head that supplies oxygen. Best used underwater and foul-smelling places

Cheering Charm - Makes the user of this charm extremely cheerful. Wears off in a short time

Fidelius Charm - This charm needs a separate component: a "secret-keeper." The charm is performed to hide a certain place. Only the secret-keeper, the house's inhabitants, and any other person who has been informed of its whearabouts, can see the house

Flame-Freezing Charm - Creates flames that can be touched without being burnt

Freezing Charm - Turns any object to ice

Hormmorphus Charm - This charm is used against Werwolves. It transforms them back to humans

Hurling Hex - Makes the person "hurl", or vomit

Muggle-Repelling Charms - This charm is used to protect the wizarding world from Muggle eyes. There are various muggle-repelling charms. One specific effect from this charm is known: a Muggle who wanders too close to a wizarding location will somehow remember that he or she should be somewhere else and will forget all about the location

Transmogrifian Torture - Effects are unspecified

Twitching Ears Hex - Makes the recipient's ears twitch uncontrollably

Unbreakable Charm - Makes any object that is subject to this charm unbreakable

Harry James Potter: Quick facts
From: http://www.hp-lexicon.org/wizards/harry.html


BIRTHDATE & NAME MEANINGS
Birth name: Harry James Potter.
Name meaning: JKR notes on her Website that someone named Harry Potter was a 19thC clockmaker (JKR).
Middle name: James, after his father (Sch2, OP8).
Other names: 'The boy who lived;' 'Saint Potter, the Mudblood's friend' (--Draco, CS12); 'the Chosen One' (HBP3) 'Parry Otter, the Chosen Boy' (--Horace Slughorn, HBP22).
Birthdate: 31 July 1980 (Y-0).
Citations: Harry is mentioned in Modern Magical History, The Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts, and Great Wizarding Events of the Twentieth Century. (PS6)

FAMILY & FRIENDS
Ancestry: Half-blood.
Mother: Lily [Evans] Potter; killed 31 Oct 1981 by Lord Voldemort at Godric’s Hollow.
Father: James Potter; killed 31 Oct 1981 by Lord Voldemort at Godric’s Hollow.
Grandparents: ?
Aunts, Uncles: Petunia Dursley, Vernon Dursley.
Cousins: Dudley Dursley.
Siblings: None.
Childhood: Raised by the Dursleys, his mother’s sister Petunia and her husband Vernon.
Location of childhood home: 4 Privet Dr., Little Whinging, Surrey.
Godfather: Sirius Black; he does not have a godmother (EBF 2004).
Pet: Hedwig the Owl.

APPEARANCE
Eye color: Brilliant green, the same as his mother’s.
Hair color: Black; perpetually messy, sticks up in the back, same as his father's.
Other characteristics: Round glasses; short and thin, with knobbly knees. Lightning-bolt scar on forehead.
From the books: "Harry had always been small and skinny for his age. … Harry had a thin face, knobbly knees, black hair, and bright green eyes. He wore round glasses held together with a lot of Scotch tape .... The only thing Harry liked about his own appearance was a very thin scar on his forehead that was shaped like a bolt of lightning." (PS2)
Tattoo? Nah. During Harry's sixth year it was rumored that he had a Hippogriff tattooed on his chest. Ginny had a laugh on them by telling them it wasn't a Hippogriff, it was a Hungarian Horntail (HBP25).

THE SCAR
"Never wondered how you got that mark on yer forehead? That was no ordinary cut. That's what yeh get when a powerful, evil curse touches yeh -- took care of yer mum an' dad an' yer house, even -- but it didn't work on you, an' that's why yer famous, Harry." (PS4)

Dumbledore looked very intensely at Harry for a moment, and then said, "I have a theory, no more than that ... It is my belief that your scar hurts both when Lord Voldemort is near you, and when he is feeling a particularly strong surge of hatred."
"But ... why?"
"Because you and he are connected by the curse that failed," said Dumbledore. "That is no ordinary scar." (GF30)

HOGWARTS
First year: 1991.
House: Gryffindor.
Earned 7 OWLs: Astronomy A (Acceptable); Care of Magical Creatures E (Exceeds expectations) ; Charms E; Defense Against the Dark Arts O (Outstanding); Divination P (Poor); Herbology E; History of Magic D (Dreadful) ; Potions E; Transfiguration E.
Failed Divination and History of Magic (HBP5). These grades meant that Harry can continue in his ambition to be an Auror.
Quidditch: Seeker for Gryffindor House team Year 1 - Year 5 (youngest player for a house team in a hundred years). Captain of the team during his 6th year (HBP6).
Awards, etc.: Quidditch cup; Special Award for Services to the School (CS18); Triwizard Tournament Champion.

SKILLS, MAGICAL DEVICES, ETC.
Wand: Holly and phoenix feather, eleven inches, nice and supple; an unusual combination. It is the "brother" to Lord Voldemort’s wand, (PS5) in that both contain a feather from Dumbledore's phoenix 'Fawkes.' (GF36)
Broomstick: Nimbus 2000 (1991-3), Firebolt (1994 - present).
Other devices: Invisibility cloak, Marauder’s Map.
Socks: Socks with spiders on them (PS2) ; Dobby gave him red (with broomsticks) and green socks (with snitches) for Christmas. (GF23)
Organizations & affiliations: Gryffindor Quidditch seeker and team captain; Dumbledore’s Army; Slug Club.
Career: Wants to be an Auror.
Skills: A "natural" Quidditch player; a Parselmouth (speaks Parseltongue); can cast spells without a wand; senses the presence of others; prescient dreams; particularly skilled in Defense against the Dark Arts; appears to be resistant to the Imperius Curse and Veelas. Had difficulty learning Occlumency.
Patronus: Silver stag.
Worst fear/memory: Death of his parents.
Boggart: A dementor.
Amortentia (love potion) smells: "treacle tart, the woody smell of a broomstick handle, and something flowery he thought he might have smelled at the Burrow" (HBP9).

PROPHECIES
"It Will Happen Tonight."
"The Dark Lord lies alone and friendless, abandoned by his followers. His servant has been chained these twelve years. Tonight, before midnight ... the Servant will break free and set out to rejoin his Master. The Dark Lord will rise again with his servant's aid, greater and more terrible that ever he was. Tonight ... before midnight ... the servant will set out to rejoin his Master ..." (--Sybil Trelawney, PA16)

"The one with the power to vanquish the dark lord approaches ... Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies ... And the dark lord will mark him as equal, but he will have power the dark lord knows not ... And either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives." (--Sybill Trelawney, OP37)

[More on Sybill Trelawney] [JKR on Prophecies (Madam Scoop's Index)] [List of all Trelawney's known predictions]

HARRY'S DREAMS [more on Harry's dreams...]

A flying motorcycle (PS2)
Harry wears Quirrell's turban which tells him he must transfer to Slytherin because it is his destiny. Malfoy, Snape and green light too. (PS7)
On show in a zoo, labeled "Underage Wizard." Wakes up from the dream to see Ron at the window in the Ford Anglia. (CS2)
Quidditch dream where he is late to a game and the Slytherin team arrives riding dragons. He is flying at a high speed when he realizes that he forgot his Firebolt and falls through the air. (PA15)
Mermaid from the bathroom torments Harry with his own broomstick (then Dobby wakes him up). (GF26)
Riding on an eagle owl soaring toward Riddle house to a room where there are two men speaking, and a snake. Overhears conversation between LV and Wormtail about someone being killed to cover up Wormtail's blunder. (GF29)
"Many-legged creatures" with cannons for heads cantering up and down the stairs at Weasley house. Hagrid tells him they'll be studying weapons this term. (OP6)
Dreams about the corridor in the MoM Department of Mysteries begin in August when he is staying at 12 Grimmauld Place. (OP6; hereafter referred to as "the corridor dream.")
Mrs. Weasley sobs over Kreacher's body watched by Ron and Hermione, who are wearing crowns (then corridor dream again). (OP10)
"He was not going to share his dreams with anyone. He knew perfectly well what his regular nightmare about a graveyard meant." (OP12)
Harry dreamed he was back in the Room of Requirement. Cho was accusing him of luring her there under false pretenses; she said that he had promised her a hundred and fifty Chocolate Frog cards if she showed up. Then the dream changes when Harry dreams he is Nagini and "witnesses" the actual attack on Arthur Weasley. (OP21)
Neville and Professor Sprout waltz around the Room of Requirement while Professor McGonagall plays the bagpipes. Turns into the corridor dream. (OP)

HARRY POTTER • Fictional Wizard
From: http://www.who2.com/harrypotter.html

Potter is the fictional creation of author J.K. Rowling, who featured him in the 1997 book Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. (In the U.S., the book was titled Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.) Potter is a student wizard at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he belongs to the house of Gryffindor, plays the odd sport of quidditch and battles the villain Voldemort. Rowling's original book was a smash hit and Potter became an international fad, with parents and children standing in line for the release of sequels. Rowling followed the original with five more Harry Potter books: The Chamber of Secrets (1999), The Prisoner of Azkaban (1999), The Goblet of Fire (2000), The Order of the Phoenix (2003), and The Half-Blood Prince (2005). To date, three Harry Potter feature films have been released: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004). All three starred Daniel Radcliffe in the role of Harry Potter and Emma Watson as Harry's friend Hermione.

"We'll, I just wanna add this post. It's more to console ourselves..."