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PHILIPPINES

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The Party of the Laboring Masses - Philippines condemns any actions that increase military tensions in the region and contribute to a regional military conflict, by countries that lay claim to the Spratly Islands. We are opposed to any sabre-rattling and stand for a negotiated, political settlement, of the disputed claims to the area. Therefore we deplore China’s strong-arm tactics and bullying, which undermines efforts towards a peaceful, political settlement, of the disputed claims.

The Spratly Islands, less than four-square kilometres of land area spread over 425,000 square kilometres of sea and usually submerged under water, probably have strategic importance fuelling the numerous territorial disputes. The area holds significant reserves of oil and natural gas: reportedly some 17.7 billion tons of oil and natural gas reserves, larger than the 13 billion tons held by Kuwait, thus making it the fourth largest reserve bed in the world. In an energy hungry world, these reserves intensify the disputed claims over the area.  Due to clashes over claims on the islands, no successful exploration of the area has as yet been successfully undertaken.

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Akbayan (Citizens Action Party) to Chinese Gov’t: Stop military bullying in Spratlys

Akbayan today stormed the Chinese Consulate Office in Makati in response to the series of military incursions by the Chinese government in territories claimed by the Philippines in the Western Philippine Sea in the past few months.

Akbayan Representative Walden Bello who led the protest denounced the provocative acts of the Chinese government, which he described as blatant bullying.

The progressive legislator also reminded the Chinese government of its commitment to pursue the peaceful resolution of the conflict in the Western Philippine Sea through diplomatic means.

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LANTAD, Balingasag, Misamis Oriental (MindaNews/25 May) – The people in what used to be a “liberated” zone of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) has approved today the “Lantad Manifesto” asking both the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the umbrella organization of the armed communists, the National Democratic Front (NDF), to respect their right to self-determination and peace.

William Castillo, general manager of the Lantad Multi-purpose Cooperative (LMPC), said that they are demanding from both the GPH and the NDF to respect their decision to live in peace and free from tyranny because they do not want the violence that plagued their community in the past.

Castillo is the son of Leonardo Castillo who served as the “mayor” of the revolutionary government of Lantad from 1988 to 1992.

Sitio Lantad in Barangay Kibanban had been the hotbed of the communist insurgency in the 1980s and the 1990s. In 1987, a revolutionary government was set up by the National Democratic Front (NDF), making Lantad as the capital of the revolutionary movement in Northern Mindanao.

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Open letter to Vice President Jejomar Binay on the Marcos hero's burial issue

HONORABLE VICE PRESIDENT JEJOMAR "JOJO" C. BINAY
Office of the Vice President
Republic of the Philippines
7th Floor, PNB Financial Center, President Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard, Pasay City

Dear Mr. Vice President,

Warm greetings!

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The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) denounced the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) for covering up the Armed Forces of the Philippines' (AFP) responsibility for the abduction and torture in 2009 of Fil-Am activist Melissa Roxas and her two companions, and implying that the crime was carried out by the New People's Army (NPA). The CPP flatly dismissed claims by the military and the CHR that the NPA is responsible for their illegal arrest and torture.

The CHR has done "a big favor to Gen. Jovito Palparan, who commanded the 7th ID from 2005 to 2008 and led it on a rampage of human rights abuses in the provinces of Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan and Zambales," said the CPP. "Ms. Roxas was arrested and subjected to torture by the very people who carried out the arrest and torture of scores of other victims."

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Florita "Nang Flor" Caya, Elpidio "Jojo" Malinao, Noriel Salazar - some of the recent slain activists in the Philippines.

PAKISAMA Statement Condemning the Assassination of Another PAKISAMA Leader, Florita “Nang Flor” Caya

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“If the objective is to increase the capacity of workers and their families to weather economic woes, an increase of P22 a day at this point is simply too little, too late,” Akbayan Representative Walden Bello said on Tuesday morning following the announcement of a P22-increase in minimum wage earners’ cost of living allowance (COLA).

Since the start of the year, fuel price inflation stands at a whopping 10.19 per cent. It is followed by transportation and communication prices at 7.28 per cent, while inflation of food prices has been recorded at 4.03 per cent.

According to Bello, the sky-rocketing prices of basic commodities threaten to push millions of families propped up by minimum wage earners across the poverty threshold.

“Barya lang ang P22 sa harap ng nagtataasang presyo ng mga bilihin. Kulang ‘yan para tustusan ang pangangailangan ng mga kababayan natin, at lalo silang maghihirap kung ‘yan lang ang matatanggap nila,” Bello added

Abolish regional wage boards

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Manila, Philippines - Thousands of workers led by the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL) and its allied organizations converged in key cities on Labor Day to reiterate their demand for better wages, improved economy, jobs, security of tenure for workers and an end to demolition of squatter shanties.

Edwin Bustillos, APL deputy secretary-general, said almost one year after the victory of President Aquino, workers have yet to see tangible gains.

“Instead, what we have is a disastrous decision for the workers of PAL, violent demolitions of informal settlers and skyrocketing prices of oil, food and other prime commodities,” he said.

Workers are being presented a Philippine Development Plan (PDP) for 2011- 2016 that merely provides a slightly updated version of the same old neo-liberal prescriptions, Bustillos said.

The APL mobilized in Manila, Lipa, Cebu, Davao, General Santos, Cotabato and Cagayan de Oro.

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The Philippine Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said it did not clear the military in the human rights case of Filipino-American activist Melissa Roxas as accused by several militant organizations.

CHR chairperson Loretta Rosales said their Resolution (IV) No. A2010-130 did not necessarily mean the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) no longer had a hand in the supposed abduction and torture of Roxas in La Paz, Tarlac on May 19, 2009.

Rosales said their investigation had simply found no sufficient evidence to prove that military agents were behind the incident, and that the CHR investigating team found no proof that the incident happened in a government facility.

"It bears clarifying that... neither did the Commission on Human Rights 'practically clear' the AFP nor did it 'tag' the New People's Army (NPA) as responsible for the violation Melissa Roxas' human rights," Rosales said in a statement.

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FERDINAND E. MARCOS is not a hero to the Filipino people. His martial law regime sent hundreds of thousands to jail, made people 'desaparecidos' because of their political beliefs. He is now being elevated to become a "hero" and plans are afoot by his families and allies to have him interred in Libingan ng mga Bayani (Cemetery of Heroes).

Late Filipino dictator F. Marcos is NOT a hero! Please sign this petition.
http://www.petitions24.com/marcos_is_not_a_hero_protest_the_plan_to_make...

Let our voices be heard: 'HINDI BAYANI SI MARCOS!  TUTULAN ANG PLANONG ILIPAT SIYA SA LIBINGAN NG MGA BAYANI! (Marcos is not a hero!  Protest the plan to transfer him to the Cemetery of Heroes!)

In Congress, Marcos crony Congressman Salvador Escudero, leads this campaign. The father of Senator Chiz Escudero has already gotten 204 members of Congress to sign the petition to have Marcos interred as a hero.

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