In Memory of Johnny García

 Image is of a man with a warm expression on his face. He is standing with his left hand in pants pocket and right thumb in pocket in front of a fence with barbed wire woven into the fence.
Photo of Johnny García.

The New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines send their deepest condolences to the family and friends of comrade JOHNNY GARCÍA on the occasion of his passing.

On August 30, 2015 — the International Day of the Disappeared — we worked with him and Ayotzinapa NY on an action commemorating the 43 missing students of Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College and 27 Filipino activists who had been forcibly disappeared under the administration of Philippine President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino. At Union Square Park, it was one of the most beautiful actions NYCHRP has ever participated in. A seed was planted into a biodegradable plant pot for each of the 43 missing Ayotzinapa students and 27 Filipino activists, accompanied by massive props that enhanced the sentiments surrounding the demonstration. Comrade García played a big role in the creation of the props and carried with him a persistent and revolutionary agitated attitude that inspired us to push through a memorable 3 hour-long action.

YOU WILL BE SORELY MISSED, COMRADE GARCIA! REST IN POWER!

NYCHRP and Ayotzinapa NY standing together in solidarity at the 2015 International Day of the Disappeared action in Union Square Park.

PLEASE SHARE: RELEASE TALAINGOD 74!

Reference: Repost from Sarah Elago, Kabataan Partylist Representative

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URGENT ALERT!

74 people, including 29 students and 12 teachers of lumad schools in Davao del Norte, are illegally arrested by the joint forces of the Talaingod police and 56th IB Philippine Army, with the Talaingod muncipal social work and development office.

The delegation has been held since 9:30pm, Nov28,2018. Among the police officers are Lagdamen, Catubag Psupt Dionaldo and Psupt Sison, while the AFP forces are headed by Col.Paredez.

#ReleaseTalaingod75
#SaveOurSchools

 

Sign the Unity Statement to Defend Lumad Schools and call for the release for the Talaingod 74 HERE

UNITY STATEMENT: Defend Lumad schools! Release the TALAINGOD 74! End Martial Law in Mindanao!

We, student formations, councils and publications, condemn the illegal detention of 74 teachers and students of indigenous school Salugpongan Ta’Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center, Inc., following the forced closure of their school by joint elements of Talaingod Municipal Police and the 56th Infantry Battalion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The Lumad community is joined by delegates of a national humanitarian mission, including church groups, lawyers and Kabataan Partylist representatives, en route to evacuate to the office of Salugpongan.

Their entourage was harassed by paramilitary group ALAMARA through pelting stones at their vans. Later, the police accused the group of abduction and filed a case of human trafficking and child abuse against leaders, including Alliance of Concerned Teachers Partylist Rep. France Castro and former Bayan Muna Partylist solon Satur Ocampo.

YOUTH ACT NOW AGAINST TYRANNY denounces this senseless and unjudicial detainment and intimidation by state forces to concerned groups and the affected Lumad community. The indigenous community has born the brunt of inhumane treatment of the state and brutal assault to their right to education.

We call on the immediate release of Rep. France Castro, Satur Ocampo, Lumad teachers and students, drop the fabricated charges against them, and allow their safe evacuation.

 

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NYCHRP Condemns the Negros Farmers’ Massacre, Calls for an End to the Hacienda System and Demands Justice for the Sagay 9!

Reference: Glenn Ramirez, Organizational Development Chair, New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP), nychrp@gmail.com 

NYCHRP CONDEMNS THE NEGROS FARMERS’ MASSACRE, CALLS FOR AN END TO THE HACIENDA SYSTEM AND DEMANDS JUSTICE FOR THE SAGAY 9!

Sagay City, Negros Occidental – On October 21, at Hacienda Nene, a sugarcane plantation, in Sagay City, nine sugarcane workers were killed. The workers who were slain in this heinous incident are identified as follows:

Angelipe Arsenal
Alias Pater
Bingbing Bantigue
Dodong Laurencio
Eglicerio Villegas
Joemarie Ughayon, Jr.
Morena Mendoza
Marchtel Sumicad
Neknek Dumaguit

Sources report that the farmers were ambushed Saturday evening while eating dinner inside their tents by several armed men who opened fire. It was further reported that three bodies among those killed were mutilated and/or set on fire. Four others were also injured, two of whom were minors. We express our outrage as well toward the recent illegal arrest made on October 24 of one of the minors who had survived this atrocious massacre.

It is heart-wrenching and deplorable that so many farmers been brutally killed. October marks National Peasant’s Month in the Philippines, which is meant to be a time to commemorate the struggles of farmers and peasants. Why were these farmers killed, seemingly at random? There are still details that we do not yet know, and there is a lot of misinformation that appears to be going around.

As human rights advocates who fight for and uphold the rights of the people in the Philippines, we are skeptical at the lack of accurate information and abundance of misinformation regarding the massacre at Hacienda Nene. We know that to stand in solidarity with the Filipino people means to educate ourselves and others on the history of oppression of the people in the Philippines, the larger political climate, and the current situation of Philippine society, in addition to linking arms with those marginalized through our solidarity work.

We acknowledge that the peasants slain in this massacre were farmer-activists, part of the National Federation of Sugarcane Workers, a local, left-leaning union of farmers. The farmworkers killed had been preparing their bungkalan, or the occupation of an empty plot as part of a Land Cultivation Area, a place to grew crops to ward off hunger and sustain their community through the dry season. The truth is that this recent massacre is not the first of its kind, even in recent times. This swath of killings now brings the number of farmer-activist deaths under the US-Duterte regime to an utterly devastating toll of 197. We are left to wonder, therefore: what could possibly justify the killing of people who were trying to feed their own? Is it a crime to be an advocate, as these farmworkers were, of genuine agrarian reform?

Land reform is at the heart of this issue. The massacre occurred while workers were occupying hacienda land. Haciendas, or tracts of land forcibly acquired for the production of export-oriented cash crops, are part of a feudal system implemented during the Spanish colonial era to deprive the people ownership of their land, thereby maintaining control over the people. Despite the era of Spanish colonial rule in the Philippines ending 120 years ago, the country is clearly not free from the dominion of its past–haciendas still exist today. And like this most recent incident, we acknowledge that it is on hacienda land and because of haciendas that gross human rights violations have occurred. We remember the senseless violence of the Hacienda Luisita massacre in 2004, which the people still have not received justice for.

There are farmers who are fighting for land because they have yet to see effective policy change that offers true ownership of the land that they till. Across the country, these farmers are advocating for land reform because they are starving in the export-oriented, import-dependent economy that has been implemented in the Philippines. We see these deaths in the current political climate of the US-Duterte regime as related to the increased attacks on the peasants and the workers.

We mourn the lives of innocent lives that have been lost and vehemently condemn this senseless killing. We denounce the human rights violations that have occurred in haciendas and throughout the country, especially under the US-Duterte regime. In the true spirit of National Peasant’s Month and commemorating the struggle of the peasants, we call for an end to the system that continues to exploit, oppress, and kill the peasants. We demand genuine agrarian reform now. We call on the Commission on Human Rights to conduct an independent, thorough, and unbiased investigation on the massacre. We stand in solidarity with the surviving victims in the Sagay massacre and their families in their call for justice.

We support National Federation of Sugar Workers, the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, Karapatan, and other human rights and people’s organizations as they begin their two-day National Fact Finding Mission on the massacre. Please contact nychrp@gmail.com if you are looking for information on how to support the fact finding mission and support justice for the Sagay 9.

JUSTICE FOR SAGAY 9!
STOP THE ATTACKS!
STOP KILLING FARMERS!