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Akbayan chides Bayan Muna & affiliates for falling into the AFP's 'divide & rule' strategy
by AKBAYAN (Citizens Action Party-list)
Saturday Mar 3rd, 2007 5:34 AM
PHILIPPINES: AKBAYAN (Citizens Action Party-list) chided Bayan Muna (People First) and Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU, May 1 Movement) today for doing exactly what the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is expecting them to do. AKBAYAN President Ronald Llamas said that the recent attacks by Bayan Muna and KMU against AKBAYAN fit in the plan of the military to block Left parties from entering the House of Representatives.

Both KMU and Bayan Muna said earlier that the AFP is campaigning for AKBAYAN, a claim that Llamas finds “politically absurd”. He said that AKBAYAN’s independent stance as a democratic Left party has put it in the middle of abusive elements from the Left and the Right.

“We have spoken against and condemned abuses committed by the New People’s Army, and our principled stand exposed our local candidates and campaigners to harassment from the armed Left. Meanwhile, our anti-Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) position and our stand against extrajudicial killings, including this administration’s authoritarian tendencies, have made AKBAYAN a target of abuses from military forces, especially in rural areas,” Llamas added.

AKBAYAN likewise reminded Bayan Muna and KMU that effigies of AKBAYAN Rep. Risa Hontiveros were burned by the AFP in its anti-communist programs in rural areas. The group added that Llamas, along with AKBAYAN leader and UP Prof. Randy David, was arrested and charged with sedition last year. “If Bayan Muna’s idea of campaigning is effigy-burning and warantless arrests, then that’s the kind of support that we get from this administration and from the military,” Llamas said.

“With heightened repression from the administration, it is necessary for all progressive forces regardless of ideological persuasion to have a larger worldview. Bayan Muna is not the sole victim of military harassment and extra-judicial killing. It must avoid sounding as if it has an exclusive franchise on these important issues. Indeed, a collective condemnation of all forms of election-related violence is necessary to ensure free and fair elections,” Llamas said.

For her part, AKBAYAN Rep. Risa Hontiveros urged Bayan Muna and its affiliates to support AKBAYAN in its call for peaceful and honest elections. “Instead of making unfounded claims about AFP’s support for AKBAYAN, we encourage them to support collaborative efforts to ensure the integrity of the 2007 polls,” Rep. Hontiveros said.

The solon said that divisive vanguardism would only result in the victory of traditional representatives in Congress. “It gives pro-GMA forces more space to squeeze themselves into the party-list system, thus making a progressive system yet another arena for traditional politics,” Rep. Hontiveros said.

The solon also said that AKBAYAN Party-list has never relied on coercion to garner votes. “Our track record during and in between elections speaks of progressive citizens banding together to achieve political power. We are confident that we will win through our independent principles, pro-people platform, and the perseverance of our members,” Rep. Hontiveros said.

March 2, 2007

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Tonyo Cruz
Sunday Mar 4th, 2007 8:43 PM
One of the partylist groups identified by the Armed Forces of the Philippines as a "military ally" and "a good leftist party" should condemn the AFP, not Bayan Muna.

It is the AFP, as shown in documents exposed by Bayan Muna, who identified several partylist groups as "military allies" in a concerted effort to meddle in the partylist elections whose goal is to destroy Bayan Muna while favoring other partylists.

The AFP is also behind a pathetic disqualification case, using as basis the incredible allegation that Bayan Muna representatives allegedly ordered the murder of two Akbayan members in Nueva Ecija.

All partylists should denounce the AFP for planning and carrying out such plan to interfere in the partylist elections. Let us press the AFP to stop targeting Bayan Muna, Anakpawis and Gabriela Women's Party in the counter-insurgency campaign which has resulted in extrajudicial killings and other abuses.

It is unfortunate that this "military ally" instead seized the moment to attack Bayan Muna, even dragging the New People's Army into the picture in a manner characteristic of military spin doctors.

But dragging the NPA into any issue pertaining to Bayan Muna has been a pastime of this "military ally" since 2001 when Bayan Muna first ran for partylist representation. In 2001 and 2004, the same party accused Bayan Muna of working with the NPA in the campaign, and castigating Bayan Muna for the NPA's ban against them in rebel territories. No proof was given, no formal charges were filed – again a reprise of the modus-operandi of the military in demonizing Bayan Muna.

It is thus only to be expected that the said party's reaction to an expose of soldiers prowling the city and meddling in the partylist elections should prioritize a condemnation of the NPA and to accuse Bayan Muna of "divisive vanguardism", whatever that means.

We are likewise concerned that the party is engaging in double-talk on the issue of political killings. In the Philippines, it is busy helping the AFP in baselessly inserting the NPA into the issue and thus help the AFP evade responsibility. In the US, a jetsetting party leader goes around soliciting donations to purportedly benefit victims of extrajudicial killings.

In his meeting with members of the House Committee on Human Rights on Feb. 20, even United Nations Special Rapporteur Philip Alston remarked that Etta Rosales's fulminations against the NPA echoed military propaganda on extrajudicial killings. Pressed to give even an estimate figure on the number of victims of NPA-perpetrated extrajudicial killings she vigorously condemned during the meeting, Rosales was mum
and could not give even a ballpark figure.

As chair of the House Committee on Human Rights until last year, Rosales practically sat on hundreds of resolutions seeking investigations into extrajudicial killings since 2001. Only one resolution – pertaining to the 2002 twin-murder of Eden Marcellana and Eddie Gumanoy by a military death squad under the command of then-Col. Jovito Palparan – resulted in a committee report, and we credit the victims' families and human rights group Karapatan for their dogged determination that compelled Rosales to act.

A day after Alston issued a statement decrying the AFP for its "state of total denial" on the issue of political killings, AFP Chief Hermogenes Esperon himself tagged Rosales' partylist as "a good leftist party".

No surprise that Bayan Muna remains the people’s top choice for partylist representation.

Tonyo Cruz
Media Officer
Bayan Muna
by Akbayan supporter
Monday Mar 5th, 2007 2:31 AM
Actual pictures speak louder than words.
by Akbayan supporter
Monday Mar 5th, 2007 5:31 PM
funds 4 philippine delegations to oceania confab:

Note: Tonyo's webmail is accessible through Google search engine therefore is not private.

by Ex-Akbayan
Thursday Mar 8th, 2007 12:46 AM
Please see page 49
Time and again groups that are directly or indirectly supporting armed struggles are having doubletalk. You cannot promote peace while holding a gun. You blame police and military (which is only right) and forgot to blame armed rebels for killing unarmed civilians. The only way to promote peace is to sincerely advocate non-armed struggles and denounce all groups who use guns for intimidation, coercion, extortion and yes terrorizing villagers who are not supporting your cause. Forget Jose Maria Sison, he already embraced capitalism, why would he prefer Netherlands rather than Cuba or North Korea? Enough of this antics.
by rofino
Thursday Mar 8th, 2007 3:16 AM

by al-Tibak
Saturday Mar 10th, 2007 7:57 PM
All forces from the broad left in the Philippines should set aside their differences specially there’s an election coming up.

All forces wether Laban ng Masa (Akbayan, Sanlakas - PM, KPD, Alab-Katipunan, Anak Mindanao, etc) or Bayan Muna and affiliates should not fall into the AFP intrigues.
by Partido ng Manggagawa (Party of Workers)
Saturday Mar 24th, 2007 4:11 PM
The Partido ng Manggagawa (Party of Workers) on Saturday slammed the military for claiming that captured New People’s Army documents assert that the labor party-list group together with Sanlakas and Akbayan are "fronts for Malacanang."

In a statement e-mailed to media outfits, Rep. Renato Magtubo of Partido ng Manggagawa said he believes the military report was "meant to sow bloody intrigue between militant party-list groups."

"It should be funny because it is so ridiculous but it is really worrisome because of its malicious objective. Imagine how happy Esperon and Bert Gonzales will be if Partido ng Manggagawa, Sanlakas, and Akbayan quarrel with the NPA over this intrigue. The military leadership wants to sabotage the unity among militant party-list groups that is shaping up to defend civil liberties and the party-list system," he said.

Calling the military statement “a psy-war scheme by the fascists in the Arroyo regime,” Magtubo said it is a reaction to the public uproar over the deployment of soldiers in urban communities and the harassment of Bayan Muna (People First) Rep. Satur Ocampo.

He also called it a key part of the government plot to defeat militant party-lists and is further proof of electioneering by the military leadership.

Magtubo also reiterated his call for the disqualification of fake party-list groups including those supported by Malacanang, naming them thus: Ahonbayan of National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, Bigkis Pinoy of Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.’s Efraim Genuino and Sulong Barangay of James Marty Lim.

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