oplan bayanihan

On January 2011, the Aquino government instituted “Oplan Bayanihan”, its own version of the AFP’s Internal Peace and Security Plan. Like its predecessor Oplan Bantay Laya, it boasts of securing peace and putting an end to insurgency while guaranteeing the protection of human rights and civil liberties.

But reality tells a different story.

In the Southern Tagalog region alone, several cases of human rights violations including cases of extrajudicial killings have been documented by rights group Karapatan that point to the government’s counterinsurgency program. 

On February 2012, four farmers in Majayjay town in the province of Laguna, two of whom are minors aged 15, were indiscriminately fired upon by soldiers conducting military operations. Two died while the other two were in critical condition.

Under the Aquino administration, there are now 16 victims of extrajudicial killings in Southern Tagalog alone. Seventy-six victims of extrajudicial killings have been recorded from July 2010 to March 2012 nationwide.

In the Southern part of Quezon, eight battalions of the Army, the national police and paramilitary CAFGU have been deployed, quite a large figure relative to the area in which it operates. A case of abduction in Macalelon town in March 2011 was already reported to Karapatan. Unidentified armed men allegedly took farmer Felix Balaston to the 85th Infantry Battalion’s camp. He remains missing to date.

Cases of threat, harassment, intimidation, illegal arrest and detention perpetrated against local farmers in Quezon have also been reported. Army forces are stationed in houses and barangay (village) centers. Detachments are mounted in about 50 barangays in the rural areas of South Quezon.

Several local farmers’ groups in South Quezon consistent in their struggle for genuine land reform against big landlords and businesses are now targeted by the military in their operations.

Oplan Bayanihan is but a replica of its predecessor. Like Oplan Bantay Laya, it is a counterinsurgency program designed by the U.S. government to quell all forms of resistance, armed or unarmed, by any means necessary.

Help stop Oplan Bayanihan. Help stop human rights violations.

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“Mistaken For”


The incident portrayed in this video animation is based on actual events. 

This video shows a glimpse into the brutality of counterinsurgency operations in the Philippine countryside.

For decades, government counterinsurgency programs in the country, one after another, have caused grave human rights violations to innocent civilians especially in rural areas. The incumbent Aquino administration’s Internal Peace and Security Plan “Bayanihan” (Cooperation) or Oplan Bayanihan is no different.

Oplan Bayanihan is but a replica of its predecessor, Oplan Bantay Laya, a counterinsurgency program designed by the U.S. government to quell all forms of resistance, armed or unarmed, by any means necessary.

Please help us expose the truth about the human rights situation in the country. Like and share this video.

Help stop Pres. Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan.

Help stop human rights violations in the Philippines.

A public service ad produced by
KARAPATAN - Alliance for the Advancement of Human Rights
Southern Tagalog

with the support of the Cultures of Resistance Network | culturesofresistancenetwork.org

A film by
Southern Tagalog eXposure

#Manilakbayan2015 Welcoming Ceremony (AS Steps, UP Diliman)

I was at the lumad welcoming ceremony earlier today after my class in UP, and I learned a whole lot of new things about the situation in Mindanao. There were a lot of speakers, including the chancellor Michael Tan, the vice-chancellor for community affairs Nestor Castro, the datu Jonorito Guaynon, National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera, convenor for Stop Lumad Killings Network Bryle Leano, and many others. They spoke generally about the theme of pursuing and continuing the fight for equal rights for our fellow Filipinos, the lumad, as well as pleas against the internationalization and globalization to be deepend by the APEC and the forthcoming summit in November.

I got there a bit after the initial introductions but I caught the beginning of Dr. Nestor Castro’s words. He mentioned that a lot of people asked, “Bakit ninyo pinapapasok ang mga yan sa campus ninyo? Hindi niyo ba alam na mga komunista sila? Hindi naman sila mag-aaral ng unibersidad!” (“Why are you letting these people into your campus? Don’t you know that they are communists? They’re not even students of the university!”) or something to this effect. He said, “Wala kaming pakialam, ano mang ideolohiya…pwedeng pumasok sa unibersidad, basta ginagawa ninyo sa hindi marahas na pamamaraan.” (”We don’t care. Whatever ideologies…can enter the university, so long as they are practiced in nonviolent means.”) (NV)

After the vice chancellor was the lumad datu Jonorito Guaynon. He mentioned that there are now 144 lumad dead in their district, and 150-250 have been filed with fake cases due to their resolve to reject mining companies in Mindanao. He mentioned that they were offered royalty tax by these private companies, but they refused because they did not want to sell their ancestral land because they believe that this is the heritage and inheritance of the people unto the next generation.

Military operations, he also stated, are the ones carrying out Noynoy’s Oplan Bayanihan "for peace and development"–but these military do not respect the rights and culture and lives of the citizens, of the lumad. Many of their fellow lumad have been forced to enter and join the paramilitary, to chase away and kill the lumad who reject the mining companies lest they (those who have been forced to join the paramilitary) be killed or filed cases against. 

I did not catch the name of the female speaker, but there has been word, she said, that Noynoy Aquino promised 500,000 hectares of land to be mined without the permission nor even the consultation of lumad. You know with whom he exchanged words with? The investors, of course. Those who will benefit from the land and the resources of the people.

According to National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera, who took the perspective of the importance of culture, we in the city often forget that we have undergone different cultures as a nation. Philippine ancestral culture is important, he said, which can be found inside the epics and songs and stories of the lumad. Our lives here in the city is not separate from the lives of the lumad, and our education–or learning–is not complete if we do not study the cultures of our brothers and sisters in Mindanao. It is important that we learn of our ancestors. It is important to have a grasp and understanding of who we used to be, and who we still are today.

Bryle Leano followed, saying that if we in the University of the Philippines only ever dreamt of a free education, the lumad, on the other hand, have already achieved and made true these sentiments, these dreams. The lesson of collective action is important and should be picked up by everyone. Living in the lumad context of politics, economy, and culture is important, unique, and must be studied and valued. Despite the violence and massacre, the lumad still continue to take a stand for their rights by traveling from Mindanao, some 1,100 kilometers away, to make their pleas heard.

The lumad performed a sacrificial ritual in between, what they said was asking permission for the land to allow them to tread the earth they are standing on. They killed a live chicken and spilled its blood on the AS steps, and the speaker elaborated on how important this ritual was and how important it is for the lumad to ask permission before they do anything to new land.

They also danced and played the budyong, and let people join them in the festive dance. I missed a little bit of what happened before this as I got hungry and bought lunch a bit away.

I guess, this is my plea to anyone reading this: 

Let us stand beside our lumad brothers and sisters in their fight for equality and  justice from, and recognition by, the government. A government should be taking care of its own people, not fostering the interest of other countries. Globalization and internationalization are inevitable, yes, however, there is a limit to this and if that desire for “progress and development” tramples the rights and lives of the minority, then it is no true way to achieve progress and development. Progress and development do not solely lie on globalization and internationalization, and these two processes entail destruction in this instance–destruction and desecration of ancestral land, of the environment, of peaceful lives, of culture, of an entire country. 

If a government cannot even play its first and most important role of protecting and serving its people, then of what use is it? Noynoy Aquino has done nothing but put the interests of foreigners–of the West, of the United States–above everything else, above the rights of the Filipino people most of all, the very people he was supposed to be putting first. His term is nearing its end and we have heard of no claims of acknowledgement, much less accountability, from him–not from the tragedy of the SAF44, not from the first few waves of the extrajudicial killings that occurred during his term. We have heard more about the so-called martyrdom of his parents in the past six years than we have the death of the Filipino under his rule. 

STAND WITH THE LUMAD IN THEIR FIGHT TO BE HEARD! WE ARE BROTHERS AND SISTERS SUFFERING ALL THE SAME UNDER THIS CORRUPT SYSTEM. HOW IS THEIR VOICE ANY LESS THAN YOURS? 

We also currently need donations for the lumad residing in the kampuhan in UP Diliman for the week. Blankets, clothes, food, drink, slippers, any form of donation will be welcomed. The kampuhan can be found near the College of Human Kinetics, near the Vanguard. Please help our fellow Filipino. Let’s not ignore the murders and injustices happening right under our very noses.

Amid the people’s call to abolish the presidential and congressional pork, Karapatan and several people’s organizations today held a picket at the House of Representatives, in time for the hearing of the proposed budget for the Department of National Defense (DND) for 2014. The protest underscored the “DND’s more than 82.1 billion-peso proposed budget meant to oil the Aquino government’s killing machine, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the primary implementer of Oplan Bayanihan.”

Karapatan called for “ZERO budget for the DND.” Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay echoed the people’s clamor to redirect huge amounts of government money “to social services like hospitalization and medical care for the poor and marginalized, education and subsidies to public colleges and universities and, housing facilities where people could access the funds directly and benefit from, instead of ending up either in the generals’ pockets or used to bomb communities as what is happening now in Sagada, Mountain Province.”

A 67-year-old Dutch missionary who was reportedly assisting farm workers in Hacienda Luisita was executed in front of his office in Barangay Telebastagan here at past noon yesterday. The death of Willem Geertman, a Dutch NGO worker and missionary in the Philippines, has shocked the Filipino-Dutch solidarity community. BAYAN Europe strongly condemns the killing of this solidarity worker who dedicated more than four decades of his life working with poor farmers and rural folks in Central Luzon. Geertman was shot in front of his office around 1pm by two motorcycle riding men believed to be military agents. His death is strongly suspected to be another extrajudicial and politically motivated assassination of those working with people’s organizations critical of the government’s anti-people policies.

youtube

“Mistaken For”

For decades, government counterinsurgency programs in the Philippines, one after another, have caused grave human rights violations to innocent civilians especially in the countryside. The incumbent Aquino administration’s Internal Peace and Security Plan “Bayanihan” (Cooperation) or Oplan Bayanihan is no different.

Oplan Bayanihan is but a replica of its predecessor, Oplan Bantay Laya, a counterinsurgency program designed by the U.S. government to quell all forms of resistance, armed or unarmed, by any means necessary.

Help stop Pres. Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan.

Help stop human rights violations in the Philippines.

Please like and share this video.

A public service ad produced by
KARAPATAN - Alliance for the Advancement of Human Rights
Southern Tagalog

with the support of the Cultures of Resistance Network | culturesofresistancenetwork.org

A film by
Southern Tagalog eXposure

Shits about to go down right now.

I am really, really getting fed up with all these people supporting the U.S. military and the militarization of the Philippines saying that they disagree with pulling out the U.S. military out of the Philippines.

I really, really am.

While y’all go on praising the U.S. military, our people are dying through their involvement. Men. Women. Children. Students. Activists. Journalists. Teachers. They are literally dying from the U.S. support, training, and funding of the Armed Forces of the Philippines who are doing all these atrocities under the Oplan Bayanihan program which does not distinguish actual terrorists from civilians and freedom fighters. Sure, China is being a pain in the fuckin ass but the U.S. military is not the fuckin answer if our people are dying by the very same damn people who are supposedly suppose to protect them.

So don’t fuckin tell me to stop being fuckin angry. I am angry because many of my moms friends are on that plethora of a list of people who have been mysteriously murdered or disappeared as students, activists, and journalists. I am angry because of what is currently going on in Mindanao with the occupation of Lumad ancestral lands, their communities, and their schools from the Armed Forces of the Philippines who are becoming a byproduct of the U.S. military and government considering the amount of funding and support they have received over the years and the many Lumad killings that still continue right now as I speak. I am angry because Aquino has done jack fuckin shit and smiles like an idiot brushing everything that is going on aside like they are a speck of dirt.

So while I will be controlling my use of profanity as much as I would like to fuckin use it in that post, I will silently be cursing out in my head.

But really folks, I should not have to do your hw for you. Google is your friend, it’s free, and easily accessible to us with an internet connection. All the information is right there. But I am seriously done with all these messages on both my personal and on @pinoy-culture on resources on what is going on in the Philippines, has been going on for years, the U.S. military involvement, and why the fuck they should get out. So currently doing the hw for all of you not only for you but for everyone else who wants to know what the hell is going on in our country and to our people and why the hell so many of us want the U.S. military out of the Philippines, to end the militarization of the Philippines, and get rid of Oplan Bayanihan.