Suspect in murder of union leader roams freely

Relatives of a slain labor leader at the Hacienda Luisita here have assailed the police for failing to arrest an Army soldier despite a warrant issued to him by a regional trial court in June for murder charges.

The accused, Private First Class Roderick de la Cruz, had been seen roaming freely in several villages within the Cojuangco family-owned sugar estate, according to Romeo Ramos, elder brother of Ricardo Ramos, president of the Central Azucarera de Tarlac Labor Union (Catlu).

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Two peasant leaders and two other men murdered in two days

GUNMEN shot dead two militant peasant leaders and two other men over a 48-hour period in the provinces of Tarlac and Pampanga in what an activist described as a continuing "festival of killings" in the region.

Ricardo Ramos, 47, president of the Central Azucarera de Tarlac Labor Union (CATLU), was shot and killed on Tuesday while drinking with friends in his backyard in Barangay Mapalacsiao five hours after the union received at least P8 million from the Hacienda Luisita Inc. as settlement for back wages. The 5,000-hectare hacienda in Tarlac is owned by the family of former President Corazon Aquino.

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Arroyo indicted at the People's Permanent Tribunal in The Hague

AN INTERNATIONAL “opinion” tribunal will indict on Monday President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on charges of human rights violations filed by Filipino leftist and human rights organizations who have been seeking to bring international pressure to bear on the government’s rights record.
The session of the People’s Permanent Tribunal (PPT), set to open at The Hague, The Netherlands on Monday afternoon Philippine time, is the second on the Philippines following its 1981 indictment of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos for alleged “crimes against humanity.”

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GMA to be tried before international court

The Permanent People's Tribunal in the Netherlands has agreed to try a case against Filipino president Gloria-Macapagal Arroyo, who has been accused of human rights violations. The case against the leader of the Philippines will begin at the Hague on 7 March 2007. Founded in 1979 in the Italian city of Bologna by the anti-fascist activist, Lelio Basso, the Permanent People's Tribunal (PPT), is an international tribunal, independent of any state and acts to examine and analyse in a public way cases of violations of human rights.

Currently there are 36 judges in the tribunal and, although they do not have any legal power, the tribunal's judgements are often considered by international organisations, including the United Nations. The president of the PPT is the Italian lawyer Salvatore Senese.
The charges against Arroyo were presented by a series of non-governmental organisations (NGOs). The president has been accused of systematic violations of the rights of people and politicians in the Philippines and of having approved the killings and torture of activists. Some NGOs claim that since Arroyo came to power in 2001, there have been as many as 750 political killings.

The accusations were considered to be sufficient by the tribunal to open a case.
With the case against Arroyo, the Philippines gains the unenviable record of being one of only three countries to have a case filed twice at the PPT for human rights violations. The other two countries are Afghanistan and the former Yugoslavia.

The first case against the Philippines occured in 1980 in the Belgian city of Antwerp which found former Filipino dictator Ferdinand Marcos guilty of crime against humanity. The PPT was the first international tribunal to find Marcos guilty of such crimes.

Political Killings Break Hearts of Filipino Expatriates

Although they share the grief of losing relatives and friends in the Philippines, Filipino expatriates in Europe and Canada are undaunted and vow to campaign for justice as alleged Arroyo hit men continue to prey on government's political foes tagged as "enemies of the state". Read more.

Philippine politicians approach European bodies

BAYAN Muna Representatives Satur Ocampo and Teodoro CasiƱo left for Geneva last Friday for a three-country campaign to discuss the issue of the unabated killings of activists under the Arroyo administration.

Their intended "targets" are the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the World Council of Churches, European parliamentarians, Amnesty International and other parties. Read more.

UAA: Another Aglipayan priest slain

Barely a week after the murder of Philippine Independent Church Bishop Alberto Ramento, a priest of the same congregation known as the Aglipayan church was shot and hacked dead as he left his house to perform his usual Sunday service, police said. Read more.


Sample letter and list of people where to send it to is available on the Asian Human Rights Commission Asian Human Rights Commission site.

Oppose the Anti-Terrorism Bill

From the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan:

Last night, the Senate through a majority vote, ended the period of interpellation on the proposed Anti-terrorism Bill, even if there were still senators lined up to ask questions about the bill. The move is an obvious attempt to fast-track the approval of the measure despite strong objections from civil libertarians, human rights advocates, victims of human rights violations, and a broad cross-section of society alarmed over the abuses by a politically repressive government.

With the period of interpellations over, the Senate will now move to the period of amendments then subject the bill to a vote. If the Senate passes the ATB, there will be a bicameral conference to thresh out differences with the version of the House of Representatives. We suspect that the proponents want to pass the measure into law before the December ASEAN Summit in Cebu.

We are alarmed that some senators are rushing the approval of the bill, effectively denying the people the opportunity to scrutinize and oppose the various provisions of the bill.

The only effective way to stop the passage of the bill is through our concerted opposition in various forms and venues. It is important that we register our strong objection to the passage of the bill, and appeal to the members of the Senate to reject the proposal.

Various groups are working together to come up with a statement to be published in a major broadsheet so that we are given a venue to air our principled objection to the ATB. We would like to ask you to be one of the signatories to the statement, knowing of your previous position on issues affecting civil liberties and human rights.

We hope you can join us in this endeavor and in future actions as we continue to oppose the ATB.


Secretary General
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan


We, concerned Filipinos, declare our staunch opposition to the proposed Anti-Terrorism Bill (ATB) which has been passed by the House of Representatives and awaits approval by the Senate.

The bill's definition of terrorism is too broad and too sweeping, covering many crimes that are already punishable under existing laws. The proposed law blurs the distinction between real acts of terrorism and ordinary crimes. Worse, it can be interpreted to include all acts in pursuit of legitimate dissent. In a time of intense crisis and undisguised political repression, the ATB can and will be used to illegalize the legitimate activities of critics and opponents of the current administration.

The proposed measure allows warrantless arrests as a rule rather than exception, prolonged detention without charges and violations of one's right to privacy through the unhampered use of electronic surveillance. Worse, it can lead to the banning of legal organizations and the consequent arrest of its leaders and members whose only crime is exercising their fundamental right to assembly, association and freedom of religion.

There is as yet no conclusive proof or credible independent study that an anti-terrorism law can actually deter much less defeat terrorism. Far from this, the vast powers given the executive in the purported anti-terrorism bill, in the hands of the current government, will in fact become another instrument of a far bigger terror and worse form of terror -- that of state terrorism. It is clearly a case of the cure being worse than the disease.

By invoking public fear of so-called "terrorism, we are asked to approve of many provisions that will destroy our way of life, limit our hard won civil rights and political freedoms, violate the very Constitution this government is sworn to uphold and, in the hands of the current paranoid administration, is bound to be another tool for suppression.

With a rubberstamp House of Representatives, one of our remaining hopes lies with conscientious and vigilant senators who will see through the deception and dangers of the ATB and vote it down. We give our strongest support to the senators who actively take an independent stand on this issue and place the interests of the people above the dictates of MalacaƱang and vested foreign interests by voting NO to the anti-terrorism bill.

To the Senate and the people,


Bayan warns against cover-up in Ramento killing

THE leftwing Bagong Alyansang Makabayan on Wednesday said there should be no “cover-up” in the investigation of the death of Bishop Maximo Alberto Ramento as it condemned the murder as the latest in a string of political killings in the country. Read more.

Asian rights council says Ramento killing political

A HONG KONG-based human rights organization has counted the murder of Philippine Independent Church bishop Alberto Ramento as one of the long string of unsolved political killings that activists say have claimed more than 755 lives since President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo came to power in 2001. Read more.

IFI Statement on Killing of Bp. Alberto Ramento

"The people behind his death might think that they have silenced him and maimed the prophetic voice of the church. They are mistaken. His death has become like a candle in a burning incense, sparking more fire, enflaming the hearts of the clergy and faithful of the IFI to remain faithful to her pro-people and pro-labor heritage. Indeed, we grieved over his death, yet we celebrate his life." Read more from The Most Reverend Godofredo J. David.

Bishop stabbed dead in convent

An Aglipayan bishop who spoke against extrajudicial executions under the Arroyo administration and who took the cudgels for striking workers at Hacienda Luisita was stabbed dead inside his convent in Tarlac City on Tuesday morning, police said. Read more.

RP activists raise killings at U.N.

The killings of scores of left wing activists in the Philippines have been brought before the U.N. in a bid to put international pressure on President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to do more to stop the attacks, human rights advocates said Monday.

Representatives of five Philippine left-wing groups are attending a conference of the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva to encourage diplomats and foreign rights advocates to condemn the killings, allegedly carried out by government forces, they said.

Read more from The China Post.

PWRDF partner murdered in the Philippines

In spite of ongoing efforts to seek justice another human rights worker has been murdered in the Philippines. Mr. Victor Olayvar, known to his friends as Vicvar, was murdered on 7 September, 2006 at 7:25 in the morning. Vicvar was a member of FARDEC (Farmers Development Centre, Inc.), a PWRDF partner organization in the southern Philippines. Read more.

Conrado de Quiros' remarks at the 4th Global Filipino Networking Convention

"According to the rights group Karapatan, the political killings from January 2001 to Sept. 16, 2006 number 755." Read more of Conrado de Quiros' remarks made at the 4th Global Filipino Networking Convention 7th NaFFAA Empowerment Conference on what the Filipino journalists abroad might do to stop the killings in the Philippines.