Another farmer-leader killed

Two weeks after the killing of a leader of a farmers’ group in Cagayan province, another farmer-leader was gunned down in Gonzaga town on Monday. Anthony Licyayo, chair of the Gunglo Dagiti Mannalon iti Cagayan Valley (Kagimungan), was on his way to his farm in Sitio Torkia in Barangay Cabiraoan, Gonzaga, when a lone assailant shot him in the head at about 8:30 a.m., reports from police and local farmers’ groups said. Read more from the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Cordillera Peoples Alliance denounces brutal killing of peasant leader Antony Licyayo

The Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) strongly denounces the brutal killing of peasant leader Antony Licyayo, 38, chairperson of Kaguimungan-Cagayan Valley, who was shot today at 8:30 AM while carrying his one year and a half old son on their way to their field in Sitio Torkia, Brgy. Cabiraoan. An unidentified gunman shot him once at the back of his head. The bullet exited through his mouth. The child was unharmed. It has only been two weeks since Cagayan peasant leader Joey Javier was murdered in Baggao municipality. We strongly condemn and still hold accountable Gloria Macapagal Arroyo regime for Licyayo’s assassination.
Over 786 senseless deaths has taken place since Gloria Macapagal Arroyo assumed the presidency. Thousands have been orphaned­families and communities. The political assassination of Licyayo has again proven the impunity and culpability of the GMA regime, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, in its blatant failure to protect the Filipino people and ensure order in Philippine society. In fact, the government of Arroyo and the Armed Forces has proven over and over that it IS the instigator, planner, and executer in this national policy of political killings sweeping the country.
If the government can go on  killing, and elevate the death toll to thousands, then we do not hope for anything from it to heed the clamour of  the local and international community to stop the killings and deliver justice to all victims.
What does the government intend to do with the increasing number of orphaned children and communities? Licyayo has four young children aged 10, 8, 4, and youngest, 1 and a half, who was with him at the time of his death.
The Arroyo government has done nothing since 2001 but bring shame to country for being the grossest, the number one violator of human rights, disregarding at all costs the very essence of the right to life and due process. All these prove that under the Arroyo regime, there is no room for human rights and justice.    
The challenge to all of us is the question of what to do under these very critical times.  More than ever, it is the opportune time to unite and strengthen our ranks to protect ourselves from the cudgels of a State that breeds lawlessness and human rights violations. It is urgent and foremost to close in ranks and work for the ouster of this fascist, dictatorial regime, to ensure that justice will be served to work for a society that respects and human rights, for justice to truly prevail.    
Now, if the government can go on with the killings, taking life in its own hands, who will protect and save the people? If it can still stomach violating the rights of the people, killing them senselessly because of their political beliefs, let it be known that the people have the right to defend themselves, that the people have the right to arm themselves to protect themselves against this fascist, murderous regime.
CPA Secretary General

2 NDF staff, NGO workers missing in General Santos

"Two staff members of the National Democratic Front (NDF) and a non-government organization (NGO)worker disappeared while on a visit to a community [in General Santos] last month, the human rights group Karapatan reported on Friday." Read more from the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Canadian mission to recommend $22 million cut to annual aid

By Candice Y. Cerezo, from

The Canadian human-rights mission will recommend today (Wednesday) to the Canadian ambassador to the Philippines that annual aid to the country be cut by at least $22 million following the alleged harassment by the military to frustrate its probe.

Luningning Alcuitas-Imperial, a Filipino-Canadian lawyer who heads the Philippines-Canada Task Force for Human Rights, said they will present before Ambassador Peter Sutherland the mission's findings on human-rights violations committed in Quezon Province, Abra, Nueva Ecija and Baguio.
She said the mission would also ask the embassy to redirect the multimillion-dollar aid for community programs to grassroots organizations instead.

Alcuitas-Imperial also questioned the openness of the Arroyo administration to international probes, saying that during the mission's visit to San Nicolas in Quezon, the military tried to stop its members from entering the area.

"The military tried to prevent us from speaking to residents of areas where there are reported human-rights violations. They seem to be following orders to bar human-rights observers, which contradicts President Arroyo's supposed openness for international probes," Alcuitas said in a press conference in Quezon City on Tuesday.

"The soldiers and police accosted us as though we were criminals and were very arrogant. They tried to break the team apart and separate us from Filipino human-rights workers and threatened to file a case of obstruction of justice against us," she said.

Alcuitas said the probe was conducted from November 17 to 20 by two teams composed of nine Canadians and Filipino human-rights workers.

She said that on their way back to Manila on November 19, their team spent some 13 hours of travel time because it had to go through several military and police checkpoints from San Nicolas to San Pablo in Quezon.

Army issues shoot-to-kill order on NE peasant leader

The Philippine Army issued on Saturday, November 4, shoot-to-kill order on Maximo Ayunga, village council member in Barangay Culong, Guimba, Nueva Ecija and chairperson of the Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luzon-Nueva Ecija chapter (AMGL-NE or Alliance of Peasants in Central Luzon). Read more.

Manila is doing too little to stop the unchecked killings of the country's activists

Ruby Sison is waiting for someone to kill her. I met Sison a few months ago at a cemetery in Kidapawan, a town on the lawless Philippine island of Mindanao. We were paying our respects to the activists and journalists George and Maricel Vigo, who were shot dead in June in broad daylight by motorbike-riding assassins while returning home to their five children. The killers were still at large, and local reporters were braving multiple death threats by keeping the Vigo murders in the news. A friend and left-wing activist, Sison had heard that a hit man had already received a down payment to kill her. "The rest will be paid when I'm dead," she told me. Read more from Time Asia.

Labor groups denounce murder of Alaska union leader

MILITANT labor groups were one in condemning the ambush-slaying on Tuesday of Alaska Corp. union leader Andrew "Bok" Iñoza in San Pedro, Laguna. "A cowardly act by enemies of labor," was how Gerry Rivera, Partido Manggagawa (PM) national vice chair, described the killing. Read more.

Abducted farmer found dead

One of the two farmers earlier reported abducted by armed men at the village of Lungib, Pilar was found dead Sunday afternoon by residents in a coconut plantation at the same village, while relatives of the other missing farmer petitioned the court for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus. The body of Domingo Marbella, 22, was found at around 1 p.m. with bullet wounds and signs of torture. Read more.

Another Bayan Muna member killed

Another member of the left wing Bayan Muna was shot dead on Thursday as the family of Ricardo “Ding” Uy, Sorsogon’s Bayan Muna chair, who was killed exactly a year ago, reiterated their call for justice. Read more.

In cold blood

LAST April, workers from the Metal Ore Mining Company of Doña Remedios Trinidad, Bulacan were detained by members of the AFP’s 56th Infantry Battalion. According to the International Labor Solidarity mission, the workers were released the next day, after the barangay captain filed a police blotter and negotiated their release. Four workers were missing: manager Bernabe Mendiola, married; couple Virgilio and Teresa Calilap; and security guard Oscar Leuterio. Read more from Patricia Evangelista.

3 Canadian activists say Philippines military harassed them

Three Canadians who traveled to a Philippine province to investigate claims of government abuses against political activists said Sunday that they had been harassed and detained by the military. Read more.


Labor leader slain, 1 hurt in Laguna ambush

Another union leader, who was also the Laguna provincial chair of the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino- Partido ng Manggagawa (BMP-PM), was slain by four unidentified gunmen in broad daylight in a thickly populated area in Barangay Poblacion here on Tuesday morning. Read more.

Fil-Canadian lawyer returns to help solve political killings

Concerned with incessant reports of human rights violations in the country, a Filipino-Canadian lawyer, whose paternal roots are in Quezon province, arrived here Friday to personally investigate stories on the alleged rights violations. Read more.

Asian body slams ‘concerted attack’ on rights groups

THE ASIAN Human Rights Commission (AHRC) slammed what it called “a concerted attack on the entire human rights movement in the Philippines” by civil, military, and police officials who “have all made scathing statements describing the work of rights groups” in the country as “propaganda.” Read more.

Canadian rights team arrives to probe killings

A TEAM of Canadian activists arrived in the Philippines Thursday to investigate what it said was an "alarming deterioration of human rights" in the country. Read more. 

Canadian rights team arrives to probe killings

A TEAM of Canadian activists arrived in the Philippines Thursday to investigate what it said was an "alarming deterioration of human rights" in the country. Read more. 

2 Filipino journalists get death threats weekly

An average of two journalists, mostly from the province, has been receiving death threats through text messages every week, according to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP). Read more. 

US retail giants urge Arroyo to protect human, labor rights

IN THE latest broadside against the Philippine government’s rights record, seven major American retail outfits that source garments from the Philippines have written President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo calling for more “proactive measures” to protect human and labor rights and right advocates. Read more.

Militant farmer leader shot dead in Cagayan

Motorcycle-riding gunmen shot and killed Joey Javier, 42, a local leader of a farmers’ group, at Barangay Centro in Baggao, Cagayan, at 8:50 a.m. on Saturday, police said.

Javier, a director of the Santo Domingo Farmers’ Cooperative and former chapter leader of the leftist Kilusang Magbubukid sa Pilipinas (KMP), was the 765th victim of extrajudicial execution since President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo took office in 2001, the KMP said. (The [Philippine Daily] Inquirer count is 256.)

Read more.

Foreign businesses to Philippine president: Stop killings

SAYING VIOLENCE has no place in a democracy, foreign chambers of commerce and multinational companies yesterday made an unprecedented call on President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s administration to put an end to political killings or risk losing aid and investments.

The statement was issued by the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce (JFC) in the Philippines, comprising business groups from the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Europe, Japan and Korea, and the Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Regional Headquarters. Read more.

Human rights leader killed in Eastern Samar

THE HEAD of the militant human rights group Karapatan in Eastern Samar was shot dead yesterday by bonnet-wearing assailants in front of the parish church in General MacArthur town. Read more.

Mourning the loss of 18 environmental activists

ENVIRONMENTALISTS are still mourning the violent deaths of 18 “green” activists in different parts of the country, saying the victims’ collective demand for justice has remained unmet. Seven of the victims, who were killed under the Arroyo administration from January 2001 to September this year, came from Southern Tagalog. Most of the slain environmental workers were farmers, indigenous people, and leaders of local community campaigns against a large dam, commercial logging, and large-scale mining. Read more.