JUSTICE FOR MASSACRED FARMERS IN NEGROS! In “Red October” ploy, the Duterte regime is the sole destabilizer and murderer

In the strongest terms, Migrante International vehemently condemns the massacre of the nine farmers on the 20th of October in Sagay, Negros Occidental. This vicious act of terrorism was perpetrated at a time when we are honouring this peasant month of October the greatness of those who tirelessly till the land at the sweat of their brows and whose produce, feed the nation.

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Photo: Migrante at this year’s October 19 “Martsa Laban sa Kagutuman at Pasismo” protest action for peasants’ rights in Mendiola.

Plagued by landlessness and extreme feudal exploitation, hungry farmers have collectively risen up to occupy idle lands previously stolen by greedy landlords and hacienderos. The growing “Bungkalan” movement is seen by farmers as the answer to the stubborn refusal of regimes past and present to address landlessness in the country through genuine agrarian reform.

This heart wrenching tragedy is part of a massive and systematic policy of violent tyranny being waged by the US-Duterte regime against progressive groups critical of his bloody three-pronged war (Oplan Tokhang, Oplan Kapayapaan, Martial Law in Mindanao).

Last week, NDFP consultant Adel Silva, three activists namely Ediecel Legaspi, Ireneo Atadero, Hedda Calderon as well as their driver Julio Lusania were illegally arrested in Sta. Cruz, Laguna by PNP-CIDG-ISAFP on trumped up charges based on illegally planted evidence. Despite the issuance of release orders to free three of the five detainees after the dismissal of the trumped up case on illegal possession of firearms, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) continues to illegally detain them in blatant opposition to the court order.

Just two days after the arrests of the Sta.Cruz5, Anakpawis member Cesar Carreon was abducted by 9 masked men in Mexico, Pampanga. Three days after his disappearance, his lifeless body was found in Candaba, Pampanga. In the same region, Central Luzon Bayan Muna peasant organizer Joey Torres remains missing up to this moment.

In Nueva Ecija, peasant advocates Yolanda Diamsay and Eulalia Ladesma were likewise illegally arrested and severely tortured by combined elements of CIDG, 7th IBPA and the Philippine National Police. This points to how far state agents are consciously willing to break the law and trample on human rights at the pleasure of the ruling class and the Duterte regime’s imperialist masters.

It is now becoming clear that AFP’s fake “Red October” swill is actually its own drawn-out plot to persecute as gory and as appalling as possible all those who rise up to oppose the regime’s tyrannical rule and the centuries old feudal oppression being inflicted by big land lords.

For its outright rejection of genuinely addressing inflation, widespread hunger and the torrent of shabu imports, the US-Duterte regime is plotting its own ruin and ouster. There is no other destabilizer and murderer in the “Red October” ploy but the Duterte regime itself. Its attempt to blot out the seething anger and resentment of the public over his tormenting neoliberal policies and repressive rule will end up in futility.

Duterte’s extreme hatred towards progressive voices is no secret. Just a few weeks ago, Duterte himself has placed the life of Naga landslide survivor Sheila Eballe in danger after tagging her as an NPA trained speaker for strongly denouncing big quarrying operations in her own community. In the same manner, AFP and PNP has red tagged all groups and sectors who dared to stand up for human rights and resist the emergent authoritarian rule in the country.

The people will no longer be deceived by the regime’s fake posturing of purported public service through empty words and cheap theatrics. Clearly, the Duterte regime is out to kill and maim to serve and protect the interests of the ruling class and its US imperialist master.

As the Duterte regime seeks favour from big landlords, land grabbers, drug lords and wealthy oligarchs in its effort to salvage its reign from collapse, we expect that the regime’s evil machinations will resort to more attacks and killings to obliterate the likes of activists and peasant victims who militantly offer their lives for the just cause of combatting state-imposed hunger and poverty through collective struggle.

Now more than ever, the US-Duterte regime is incurring the boiling wrath of the Filipino masses. AFP and PNP’s efforts to silence progressive groups will utterly fail. No amount of intimidation, harassment and persecution will ever shake our conviction in defending the oppressed and struggling for social justice.

The united voices and actions of Filipinos both here and overseas will thunder and conquer the evil forces that have been bloodily wreaking havoc on our democratic rights. The US-Duterte’s reign of terror is doomed to fail and the people will totally crush the impunity of the regime’s blood-soaked hands.

#JusticeForSagay9 #JusticeForCesarCarreon #FreeStaCruz5
#StopKillingFarmers #StopTheAttacks #ResistCrackdown
#FightTyranny

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Migrante cries enough of fake partylists out to plunder OFWs money as Mocha’s candidacy drew flak from OFWs  

On the day of Mocha Uson’s filing for candidacy as a representative of AA-Kasosyo partylist, she revealed that she personally chose the “particular party” because they “both share the same visions.” OFWs and their families fully agree that Mocha Uson truly belongs to AA-Kasosyo for it is among the trapo-backed fake OFW partylists that have been used by plunderers as vehicles for corruption and the institutionalization of the abhorrent labor export program.

Kasosyo Mocha Buwaya

Recently, OFWs exposed ACTS OFW partylist  Representative Aniceto “John” Bertiz as a wolf in sheep’s clothing for his arrogant treatment of Filipino migrants in Hong Kong and his recruitment agency’s direct involvement in victimizing OFW Shiela Mabunga. In the same degree of notoriety, OFW Family Club partylist chose Jo Christine Napoles, daughter of pork barrel scam queen Janet Lim Napoles, as its third nominee in 2013.

Now, another fake OFW partylist group is out to wreak havoc by fielding a clown who has been branded by many netizens as “fake news queen.” Her group AA-Kasosyo partylist is among the entities tied to the Php 10 Billion pork barrel scam allegedly masterminded by Janet Lim Napoles.

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In 2011, AA Kasosyo partylist representative Nasser Pangandaman allocated Php 12 Million from its pork barrel to Kaupdanan Mangunguma Foundation Inc (KMFI) – an NGO identified with Napoles.

The Duterte regime being the chief protector of plunderers backed the dismissal of Janet Lim Napoles’ illegal detention case. So while criminal masterminds like Janet Lim Napoles have found favor in the eyes of President Duterte, OFWs and their families like Kian delos Santos, Carl Arnaiz and Allan Rafael have found themselves as sacrificial victims in Duterte’s war against the poor. In a nutshell, it is the Duterte regime who is the real terrorist and Mocha Uson of AA-Kasosyo partylist who is the real terrorist sympathizer.

There is not a kernel of truth in Mocha’s declaration of running in the elections for the sake of OFWs. From her own mouth she has revealed that her aim is to go after the Makabayan bloc in Congress in fulfillment of Duterte’s mad pursuit against his critics.

Mocha Uson’s claim that the Makabayan bloc is plotting against the system unmasks her as one of the beneficiaries of this rotten system that breeds trapos and bogus partylist groups falsely claiming to represent OFWs. Under this malevelont system, OFWs continue to be peddled in foreign countries and treated as milking cows to fill the pockets of corrupt plunderers.

A major attack is looming against overseas Filipinos as the Duterte regime is set to impose mandatory insurance and mandatory SSS to all OFWs next year that will certainly have grave impacts on their livelihood. The regime has found it necessary to plant a fake OFW partylist in Congress like AA-Kasosyo to justify its policies that will bleed OFWs’ pockets dry. Likewise, it is the Duterte regime’s way to antagonize and stop Makabayan legislators from criticizing additional state exactions on OFWs.

Enough of fake partylists bastardizing OFW representation and plundering OFW money! Migrante is calling on OFWs and their families to continue exposing fake OFW partylist groups and wage the struggle of bringing down the rotten system that reeks of corruption and bloody crimes against OFWs and the rest of the Filipino people. 

URGENT APPEAL FOR ACTION to stop the deportation of LOIDA QUINDOY!

A Filipina migrant in Japan is facing deportation on October 18, 2018 after the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau informed her lawyer by telephone just hours after filing “suchikbo -, a legal instrument that requires immigration to inform lawyers of detained foreigners about their impending deportation.

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Loida Quindoy is a 56-year old Filipina who came to Japan in 1996 as a spouse of a Japanese national. Like many OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) today, she was driven out by poverty in the Philippines and the desire for a better life abroad. Loida did not have a rosy life in Japan; she was a victim of spousal violence before she finally divorced her husband in 2000. As a consequence of the divorce, she lost her 3-year long-term spouse visa. However, through sheer hard work and by paying her tax dues, she obtained a permanent residence status in 2009.

In 2007 Loida remarried to a fellow Filipino who, unfortunately, had a “bad record” with Japanese immigration – a history of ‘overstaying’ and use of an assumed identity. He was involuntarily deported back to the Philippines in 2011 and Loida’s permanent residence status was arbitrarily revoked in 2012. The Immigration Bureau found Loida guilty of allowing her husband to join her in Japan by signing his “application for eligibility” as a spouse of a permanent resident. Since 2012, Loida has been on provisional release (‘karehomen’) and was not allowed to work. She has sustained herself through family and friends.

Loida tried all available legal remedies to reinstate her residence status, but the Immigration Bureau was determined to deny her a second chance. She was harassed, intimated and threatened with involuntary deportation many times, but she endured all that because she wanted to stay and be with her family in Japan.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo has provided no assistance and support to Filipinos who are in similar situation like Loida. Instead, the embassy has committed its support to help the Japanese government by discouraging the exodus of undocumented Filipinos to Japan while encouraging overstays and those in detention to go back to the Philippines.

Last October 11, 2018, Loida’s provisional release was finally revoked, without warning and even if there was no violation of any condition set therein. Now, the Immigration Bureau is bent on enforcing her deportation from Japan on October 18, 2018.

Loida is suffering from various health issues some of which were largely due to anxieties and psychological stresses that she experienced throughout her ordeal. She is suffering from hypertension and had undergone two medical operations since 2012 – one on her gallbladder and another on her shoulder. She no longer has families in the Philippines who can take care of her.

Loida also has an unfinished mission in Japan. Being an active member of the Music Ministry of the Filipino Nazarene Christian Fellowship (FNCF) she has been an inspiration to young Filipino couples and their children. Her work as a welfare case officer of the KAFIN Migrant Center (KMC) and administrator of its half-way house for victims of domestic violence and human trafficking has helped a lot of Filipinos in her immediate community.

Most importantly, Loida’s family – her son and two granddaughters are all living in Japan. They are her only source of joy. To forcibly deport her back to the Philippines would mean separating her from her own family which is the worst that could happen to her.

Loida Quindoy has been living in Japan for the past 22 years, or almost half her life. She is not a criminal to be treated this way by a government that has earned so much from her perseverance and hard work. Her mistakes are too small compared to the punishment she had endured and continues to endure. The Immigration Bureau is wrong to force her deportation. It violates her human rights and international humanitarian law. Loida deserves to be with her family. Her mission in Japan is needed by her compatriots. Let us not allow this to happen to Loida and to others who are in a similar situation. Loida deserves a second chance. She is good for the community and society as a whole.

STOP THE DEPORTATION OF LOIDA QUINDOY!

RECOMMENDED ACTIONS: 
We request for support by sending letters of appeal to the following agencies in Japan to STOP THE DEPORTATION OF LOIDA QUINDOY, and to the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo to make representation on behalf of Loida Quindoy and provide her with necessary legal and welfare assistance.

H.E. TAKESHI YAMASHITA
Minister
Justice Ministry of Japan
1-1-1, Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo 100-8977 Japan
Fax No: +81 3-3592-7393

The Director
Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau
5-5-30 Konan, Minato-ku
Tokyo 108-8255 Japan 
Telephone no: +81 3-5796-7111
Fax No: +81 3-5796-7125

H.E. KOJI HANEDA
Ambassador
Embassy of Japan
2627 Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City 1300
Philippines
Telephone No: (02) 551-5710 (Trunk Line)
Email: ryoji@ma.mofa.go.jp

H.E. EDUARDO M.R. MENEZ
Deputy Minister
Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines
5-15-5 Roppongi, Minato-ku
Tokyo 106-8537 Japan
Telephone No: 
Fax No: +81 3-5562-1603
Email: Eduardo.menez@philembassy.net

Hold selfie or groupie protests holding support messages for Loida Quindoy and post, or send this to:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/299234224012566/

Hold pickets in front of the Japanese embassy or consulate to demand the reinstatement of Loida Quindoy’s residence status.

Migrante stands with striking Sumifru workers. Decries state-sponsored violence

Migrante International strongly denounces the violent dispersal, harassment and arrests inflicted by privately hired goons in connivance with PNP and AFP against striking Sumifru workers. Yesterday, the hired lapdogs drove away and brutally assaulted the members of Nagkahiusang Mamumuo sa Suyapa Farm organized under the National Federation of Labor Unions – Kilusang Mayo Uno (NAMASUFA-NAFLU-KMU).

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In the Global Workers’ Rights Index, the Philippines is ranked as among the worst countries to work in. Up to now, the absence of a national minimum wage and job security due to contractualization exacerbates the plight of Filipino workers as they face threats, violence and intimidation in their struggle to assert their basic rights.

Many big corporations in the Philippines are emboldened by state sponsored violence and suppression of workers’ rights. Among big business entities guilty of oppressing workers is Sumifru, a Japanese company under Sumitomo Corporation which recently made it this year as one of the world’s worst violators of workers’ rights.

Through Martial Law in Mindanao and its de facto imposition in the rest of the country, the US-Duterte regime has been attempting to quash the labour movement to dismiss the legitimate demands of workers in favour of capitalist exploitation.

Due to Duterte’s systematization of contractualization and his neoliberal attacks through the TRAIN-induced price hikes and depression of wages, workers have found no other recourse but to mobilize and realize their collective strength in the struggle to achieve emancipation from oppression.

The regime’s refusal to address the plight of local workers has banished millions of Filipinos overseas and made them vulnerable to slave-like conditions. Instead of addressing the problems of forced migration, the US-Duterte regime employed Fascist methods to red-tag and suppress members of progressive labour movements in the Philippines.

No amount of Fascist repression will ever shake the conviction of striking workers in the legitimacy of their cause and advocacies. Migrante is firmly confident in the militant fortitude of the striking workers of Sumifru and all the other progressive labour forces in different parts of the country. OFWs and their families are fully united with all workers engaged in the struggle for national democracy.

Stand with Sumifru workers!

Support NAMASUFA strike! End Endo now!

MIGRANTE SOUNDS ALARM: Duterte regime to amass hundreds of billions from forced SSS exactions on OFWs

OFW-group Migrante expressed its strongest opposition against the bicameral approval of the bill imposing the mandatory SSS for all OFWs.

From the Php 4.64 Billion worth of voluntary contributions garnered by SSS from OFWs in 2016, the amount is set to increase by 3000 % next year 2019. According to Migrante’s estimate, that would translate to Php 144 Billion in the first year of implementation alone.

Duterte Gatasang Baka

“The Duterte regime will be amassing hundreds of billions from SSS collections at the expense of OFWs who are already burdened by numerous state exactions. Forcing all OFWs to be covered as compulsory SSS members is outrageous since this exaction will be on top of the US$144 mandatory insurance recently enacted under the Duterte regime through POEA,” Migrante International spokesperson Arman Hernando said.

Under the proposed Social Security Act of 2018, the mandatory SSS membership will include both sea-based and land-based OFWs as the monthly contribution rate is set to go up to 12 % or Php 2,400 per month in 2019. From then on, Migrante warned that it is expected to gradually increase reaching 15 % by 2025.

As early as March 2017, SSS president and chief executive Emmanuel F. Dooc has been pushing for its passage. In previous years, Migrante said that OFWs were successful in opposing the mandatory SSS contribution even during the early stages of the proposal way back in the time of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo up to the Aquino administration. Migrante deplores the bicameral approval as a railroading of the bill since no extensive consultations among OFWs were ever conducted by SSS.

The bill will necessitate the government to negotiate labor agreements with host countries to compel foreign employers to pay the required monthly contribution for OFWs.

“In the case that host countries refuse to get the compliance of foreign employers on this SSS scheme, OFWs themselves will be forced to fully pay for the entire monthly contribution rate. That is painful considering that many OFWs are enslaved through unpaid work besides suffering from other contract violations,” Hernando lamented.

Hernando likewise warned that this could incite antagonism from foreign employers against OFWs for just recently, POEA issued a resolution requiring employers to pay for the premium for the insurance coverage of returning OFWs.

Furthermore, Hernando also said that the outcome of this SSS scheme would likely be similar to the scandals that rocked the government in previous years due to the fat bonuses received by SSS executives.

“We are alarmed considering that in times past, huge sums of money from SSS collections have ended up as hefty perks and bonuses for government executives while SSS members have to content themselves with minuscule pensions and benefits. It is appalling that the Duterte regime had the temerity to push this bill just when the election campaign season is about to kick-start a few months from now. What impression are they trying to convey to OFWs and their families from this timing?” Hernando asserted.

Once the bill gets signed by Duterte, it will be the largest monetary accumulation imposed by the government on OFWs in the history of the Philippines’ labor export program. Migrante vowed to vigorously block the compulsory SSS contributions for OFWs.

“We will never allow this sinister policy to plunder our OFWs. This is the time for OFWs and their families to unite and resist this vicious attack against our subsistence. We have already demonstrated in the past that we can emerge victorious in our collective struggles. Together let us charge forward and strongly oppose this extortionate policy of the Duterte regime,” Hernando concluded.

Reject forced SSS exaction!

Proteksyon hindi koleksyon!

 

In his talks with Jokowi, Duterte must address the plight of Mary Jane and other Filipina drug trafficking victims imprisoned in Indonesia — Migrante

As Duterte is expected to meet with Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Bali today for the ASEAN Leaders’ Gathering, Migrante underscored the urgent need of discussing the case of Mary Jane Veloso as the OFW group is also monitoring the two other Filipina drug trafficking victims imprisoned in Indonesia.

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Migrante International spokesperson Arman Hernando said, “On the back of having other Filipina victims of drug trafficking detained in Indonesia, it is all the more necessary for Duterte to explain to Jokowi the case of Mary Jane Veloso and finally allow her to testify against the international drug and human traffickers who victimized her.”

Even if the sentence on the other Filipina victim in Semarang was only life imprisonment, Migrante is adamant that Mary Jane’s testimony is crucial in setting the precedent to help all the victims of the international drug syndicates.

The group likewise revealed that the Indonesian government was surprised that despite the admission on Mary Jane’s innocence by trafficking suspects Maria Cristina Sergio and Julius Lacanilao, their conviction remains to be seen after the Court of Appeals junked Mary Jane’s right to deposition.

Relating his recent prison visit to Mary Jane in Indonesia last month, Arman Hernando said, “the Indonesian government is asking why it’s taking so long for Philippine authorities to hand down a conviction against traffickers Sergio and Lacanilao and why Mary Jane is still not allowed to testify.”

Hernando does not see Duterte’s seriousness in completely vanquishing the machinery of international drug and human trafficking syndicates.

“The Duterte government’s negligence in securing justice for Mary Jane and for the other trafficking victims perpetuates the privilege and immunity of big drug lords and traffickers. In fact, another Filipina drug trafficking victim is currently detained in a penitentiary right there in Bali where President Duterte is currently attending the ASEAN Leader’s meeting,” Hernando lamented.

President Duterte is set to return back to the Philippines tonight after the conclusion of the ASEAN Leaders’ event.

No to mandatory insurance for OFWs! Genuine protection, not neglect and extortion!

Migrante International vehemently opposes another state exaction by the Duterte regime through POEA Governing Board Resolution No.04 ordering the inclusion of returning OFWs in its compulsory insurance policy.

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This resolution exhibits the government handing over to the private sector its responsibility of providing protective services to OFWs. Unsatisfied with extorting mandatory insurance from new hires, the regime is now itching to suck billions and billions of money from rehires to further boost the profit of private insurance providers.

By charging each rehire with the insurance cost of US$144, POEA-accredited insurance providers are set to rake at least Php 7.6 billion every year hinging on last year’s deployment figure of almost a million rehires. This whopping amount does not even include collections from new hires. Without question, this is plain highway robbery!

In most cases, additional exactions either end up as salary deductions or as excessive charges by recruitment agencies and many OFW repatriates do not even receive their insurance claims. Instead, their ticket fares are drawn out from their salaries.

As if the numerous ordeals of OFWs and their families over Duterte’s TRAIN-induced price hikes are not yet enough, the regime is once again augmenting their agony by having POEA act as a bloodsucking conduit to subsidize private profit.

If the president is truly working for the interest of OFWs as he falsely claims, we challenge the Duterte government to scrap POEA Governing Board Resolution No.04 and fully assume its responsibility of protecting the rights and welfare of OFWs and their families instead of relentlessly plundering them for the sake of big corporate interests.

Scrap POEA GBR 04-2018!

Serbisyo hindi negosyo! Proteksyon hindi koleksyon!