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Radio News Updates From the Philippines by BAYAN USA

11/29/18: News update from BAYAN USA

A timely news update from Jessica Antonio of Bayan USA.
The US-Duterte regime has intensified it’s counter-insurgency program otherwise known as Oplan Kapayapaan “Operation Peace” that is intended to (rid the country of the communist insurgency) but instead has targeted legal organizations, community activists, lawyers, church peoples, peasants, and indigenous peoples.

Measuring from the time that Duterte came into power to June 2018 there have been a recorded 169 politically motivated extrajudicial killings. On top of that are the recorded 20,000 plus killings in Duterte’s bloody “drug war” against the poor.

Within the past 30 days, there has been a series of politically motivated killings.

On October 20th a group of farmers in Hacienda Nene (Knee-Ne) in Sagay City, Negros Occidental were brutally murdered while resting in their encampment, killing 9 people including 2 minors. The government is doing nothing to solve these murders but everyone knows that the perpetrators are hired mercenaries and likely goons from the Special Civilian Auxiliary Army of the Armed Forces of the Philippines hired by the Marañon (Ma-ran-yon) family who owns the land. No justice has been delivered to the 9 victims massacred. There are now 45 documented peasants who were extrajudicially killed in Negros under the Duterte administration.

In addition, one of the lawyers fighting for justice for the Sagay 9 was also brutally murdered by two tandem riders on a motorcycle who shot him dead in a drive by attack. Attorney Ben Ramos was the Secretary general of the National Union of Peoples Lawyers – Negros Occidental chapter. He was for the longest time the “go-to” pro-bono lawyer of peasants,  environmentalists, activists, political prisoners and mass organizations in Negros. Ben is the 34th lawyer killed under the 2-year administration of President Duterte.

Within two days of Ben’s murder, Vic Ladlad was reported to be abducted, later revealed to be arrested by the Philippine National Police.

“We condemn the arrest of NDFP consultant and BAYAN Muna National Council Member. This is again an attack on the peace talks, dimming any hope for its revival.” Stated Renato Reyes Jr, Secretary General of BAYAN. The recent arrests of several peace consultants such as Ladlad, Rafael Baylosis and Adel Silva showed that the government is “more interested in a military solution” in addressing the roots of armed conflict, rather than a political one.”

BAYAN-USA is an alliance of 26 progressive Filipino organizations in the U.S. representing students, scholars, women, workers, artists, and youth. As the first and largest international chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN-Philippines), BAYAN-USA serves as an information bureau for the national democratic movement of the Philippines and as a center for educating, organizing, and mobilizing anti-imperialist and progressive Filipinos in the U.S. For more details please visit Bayan