Bu-lat-lat (boo-lat-lat) verb: to search, probe, investigate, inquire; to unearth facts
Volume 2, Number 26 August 4-10, 2002 Quezon City, Philippines
Protest Greets Powell
Militant groups staged an extended week-long protest, capped by a march-rally outside the United States (U.S.) embassy in Manila. Activist leaders said government’s “no-permit, no rally” policy is unconstitutional but authorities were undaunted with the immigration chief threatening to deport four Japanese activists.
2,000 members of the activist party-list group Bayan Muna (People First) and
militant Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (New Patriotic Alliance) marched to the U.S.
embassy to protest the arrival of U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and
impending approval of the controversial Mutual Logistics and Support Agreement (MLSA).
Several foreign delegates to the International Solidarity Mission (ISM) held
earlier in Zamboanga also joined the mass action.
August 3 rally at the foot of Mendiola Bridge
Western Police District (WPD) deployed around 200 riot policemen to prevent
protesters from getting near the embassy. Students under the militant youth
group Anakbayan tried to get close but policemen blocked and truncheoned the
rallyists. No serious injuries were reported.
almost an hour of negotiation, the rallyists were finally allowed to conduct
their protest at the opposite lane facing the U.S. embassy.
Muna party list representatives Satur Ocampo and Crispin Beltran, Caloocan City
councilor and Bayan Muna secretary-general Nathaniel Santiago, Bayan
spokesperson Renato Reyes Jr., labor leader Elmer Labog, Professor Ed Villegas,
Gabriela's Emmie de Jesus and Rita Baua of the International League of Peoples'
Struggles (ILPS-Philippine chapter) led the march to the embassy.
chief Director General Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. earlier placed the entire National
Capital Region (NCR) on heightened alert in preparation for Powell's arrival and
the protest rallies. He warned
members of militant groups that they would be arrested and charged if they
violate the PNP's no permit, no rally policy.
Reyes said the government has no right to ban rallies saying the right to
demonstrate is recognized in the 1987 Constitution.
"We warn the military and their hoods from committing any act of
mischief that may harm the protesters," he added.
staged a lightning rally at the main gate of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)
in Pasay City on the first day in office of Secretary Blas Ople, a
self-confessed pro-American and staunch supporter of the U.S. basing agenda in
secretary general Noli Serrano said U.S. secretary Powell does not deserve
Filipino hospitality because he is “a criminal and a certified
terrorist." Powell, he said, was sent to clinch the MLSA.
Mariano said red flags of protest and not a red carpet welcome should be the
order of the day for Powell. He reiterated his group's call for Powell to
produce and surrender American soldier Reggie Lane along with two other American
GIs who figured in the shooting and arrest of Abu Sayyaf suspect Buyong-Buyong
Isnijal on July 24.
peasant group learned that the U.S. military command has instructed their local
counterparts to allow at least three American soldiers at the company level for
of street actions
militant groups went on with their sectoral mass actions to protest the arrival
of Powell, the Balikatan and MLSA. Last Wednesday, three mass actions were held
starting with the “send off protest” at the Manila Bay by the Promotion of
Church for Peoples' Response (PCPR).
Quezon City, NNARA-Youth, a peasant youth group, held a " flyover
protest" on the Edsa flyover near the corner of East Avenue.
Manila, workers and youth activists from KMU and Anakbayan joined forces for
another round of protest, this time in front of the U.S. embassy.
Children of OFWs also hit newly-installed Department of Foreign Affairs
Secretary Blas Ople for his anti-OFW and blatantly pro-US record.
of creating well-paying and stable jobs here, Sec. Ople ensured the pattern of
breaking up our families by exporting millions of our jobless parents abroad,”
decried Jose Jerome Pascua, KAMiYAN Deputy Secretary-General. “Foreign affairs
secretaries should not be pre-occupied with pleasing foreign governments or
looking for cheap migrant labor and military agreements to the detriment of our
citizens here and abroad,” he added.
from the NCR protests, cause-oriented groups trooped to Zamboanga early this
week in what they dubbed as “Lakbay Kalinaw: A Nationwide Journey for
Sovereignty and Peace.” Bayan’s Teddy Casiño described the mass action as a
coordinated “air, sea and land action against continuing US intervention in
participants came from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao and joined up with members of
the ISM upon reaching Zamboanga City. They were however not allowed by the
AFP Southern Command to hold rally in front of the SouthCom headquarters. AFP
officials and the president herself were piqued by the ISM report on the
involvement of an American soldier in the shooting of an Abu Sayyaf suspect.
while anti-U.S. rallyists were being guarded with hundreds of troops accompanied
by an armored personnel carrier, a handful of pro-U.S. rallyists were allowed to
demonstrate in front of the AFP South Com headquarters. Protesters report that
they did not eat the whole day of July 23 because of the military restricting
Catholic priest noted, “It is the height of irony that American soldiers are
free to enter and operate in any part of the country while we Filipinos are
denied the right to demonstrate against the Balikatan exercises that clearly
violate the nation’s sovereignty.” Rev.
Fr. Allan Arceburce , OFM, said
“it is really outrageous that Pres. Arroyo’s ‘Am-Girl instincts’ made
her resort to the ‘communist bogey’ again when Mission participants exposed
the case of American soldiers’ involvement in local police operations.
San Francisco, migrant Filipinos and their supporters also held a protest last
July 31 to denounce Balikatan and continued US military presence in the
Powell, not 4 Japanese activists
national chair Fernando Hicap likewise scored the alleged plan of the Bureau of
Immigration and Deportation (BID) to deport four Japanese activists who
participated in the ISM.
chief Andrea Domingo said Shu Kawaguchi, Matsuki Kazuhide, Takano Ikeda and
Marishita Keisuke face possible arrest and deportation for joining the rallies
of Toyota Motor workers in the Court of Appeals and the regional court trial in
four Japanese, who are currently under BID’s surveillance, are all members of
the Japan-based All Wide Campaign, a group opposed to the growing presence of
U.S. military in the region.
Domingo made a big mistake. The four Japanese activists are true-blue
pro-Filipinos for supporting the struggle of local folks for national
sovereignty and labor rights," Hicap said.
The militant leader said instead of attacking human rights and civil liberties of pro-Filipino visitors, the BID chief should deport Powell because the U.S. top official has cruel intentions against the Filipinos. Bulatlat.com