December 10, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—

Filipinos and Allies Call for Peace in the Philippines

Contact:
Nikki De Leon, Chair, Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines – nikkimdeleon@gmail.com503-915-7689
Angelica Lim – Chair, Gabriela Portland, angelica.a.lim@gmail.com 503-970-1071

Portland, OR—Newly elected President Rodrigo Duterte has drawn international attention to the Philippines in recent months with his war on drugs, comments on the U.S., and the resumption of the Government’s peace talks with the National Democratic Front. Filipino human rights activists, however, have been decrying the decrepit and repressive state of the Philippine government and the U.S. for decades.

On Saturday, December 10th, 2016, Filipino organizers in Portland and all over the world reported on the current human rights situation in the Philippines, highlighting the need of a peace in an event titled "Depensehan: Protect Our People and Resist Repression". “The widespread killings, both against the Lumad enacted under the Aquino administration, and the spate of killings in wake of Duterte’s war on drugs, as well as the continuing imprisonment of over 400 political prisoners, many of whom are sick and elderly, reveal the rotten core of the Philippine fascist state and its foreign funders in the U.S,” said Nikki De Leon, Chairperson of Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines. 

Commemorating International Human Rights Day, organizers shared the stories of the fight for human rights in the Philippines garnered in July 2016, when members of Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines, Gabriela Portland, Kapit Bisig Kabataan Network, Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice, Portland Rising Tide, Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights, and other community members participated in exposure and solidarity trips in Kidapawan, Philippines. Featuring the support of over 20 community organizations, Filipino organizers called for an international response to the current conditions of the Philippines, laying out the rotten core of the Philippine government.  

During the Portland delegation’s visits to various rural areas near Mindanao, communities depicted their struggle for land as a struggle for life. Living in a region rich in resources, community leaders and members made it clear that the ruling class will use any means to claim dominance over land, regardless of the cost to the sovereignty of small-scale farmers and indigenous people who make up the majority of the population. 

For over 50 years, families with political and economic power have connived many methods to take ahold of the ancestral lands of the Manobo, planting crops and raising cattle there without permission. Landlords have made moves to manipulate poor farmers to give up their land at low costs. Families have sold land to merely meet the cost of bearing a child. A major law indicates that a woman is required to give birth in a hospital or clinic and by a licensed practitioner. If a family decides to give birth at home, they are fined 500 pesos and the birth certificate is not issued. Hence, this denies the child’s existence, dishonors the right of women and families to give birth in their own homes and use their Indigenous cultural practices. Dr. Alma Trinidad, a social work professor from Portland State University, noted, “Land is life, and when those who value capital and profit over community, they take away the ability, resources and self determination to live well.”

In response to the injustices, thousand took to the streets in protest and peaceful resistance. On April 1st, 2016, in the face of a drought and a corrupt government that withheld rice from the people, farmers and indigenous people united to demand from the local government the rice it had promised to give to the people. The people sacrificed much to be there--giving up time to work, time with family, sleeping on the ground with only banana leaves for bedding. Yet when the people demanded only what the government had already promised, the police fired bullets, killing Darwin Sulang, a young farmer, community leader and organizer. Even until today when it is clear Darwin was killed because he showed his hunger, Darwin’s family is still harassed and bribed while they pursue justice for Darwin. Darwin is among the 3 casualties and hundreds injured during the Kidapawan Massacre.

Darwin’s case is just one example of the many human rights violations against the Filipino people.

The People Call for a Just and Lasting Peace!

Because of these conditions of joblessness, poverty, militarization, patriarchy, and environmental destruction, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) has been waging an armed revolution for 47 years. “We must understand the armed conflict not as a result of hapless rebellion but as a response to the real and dire conditions of Philippine society,” said Joseph Gonzalez, Chair of Anakbayan Portland and Kapit Bisig Kabataan network team leader. 

It is wise for the Duterte Administration to pursue peace talks with the NDFP, but we demand that the current peace talks address the root causes of the armed conflict and bring forth social and economic reforms, including the indigenous sovereignty and self determination, national industrialization, respect for water and land, and an independent foreign policy. It is only through these systemic changes that a just and lasting peace will arise in the Philippines. 

However, with the recent hero’s burial given to the late dictator Fernando Marcos, the treating of political prisoners like poker chips, and the reckless and inhuman war on drugs, we directly challenge the Commander and Chief of the Philippines to take quick action to agree to free all political prisoners and to uphold the basic tenets set forth in the Comprehensive Agreement on Human Rights and International Law, so that peace talks may continue and bring forth sweeping changes to Philippine society. As Jessica Antonio, Secretary General of Bayan USA noted, “We have supported the President’s initiatives in asserting national sovereignty, resuming the peace talks and implementing pro-people reforms. However, we will not countenance and we will strongly denounce his stance on many human rights issues.”

At the root of the challenges of the Filipino people to achieve just and lasting peace is the problem of foreign intervention--and the will, particularly of the United States, to control the resources and livelihood of the Philippines. The ruling class of the Philippines who call for the murder and displacement of the Lumad do not stand alone; if the U.S. did not outrightly kill resisting Filipinos, the U.S. certainly funded the killings with their continual military aid and training to the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The U.S. is not interested in developing peace in the Philippines, but only using it as a pawn for its economic interests--the U.S. has no record of good in the Philippines to prove otherwise. Thus, as a key matter of peace, we call for the exit of the U.S. troops from the Philippines, a truly independent foreign policy, and the release of all political prisoners and refugees criminalized by the U.S.

 Calling for an international response to the masses of Filipinos call for peace talks, Adrianne Sebastian, Vice Chairperson of Gabriela Portland, ended the human rigths commemoration, calling the community to action: “We struggle with all oppressed people of the world who are seeking true justice as they fight for a world where people are liberated and have a right to self-determine their future. Let us struggle for just and lasting peace! Let us unite to protect our people and resist repression!" 

 

#D10PNW
#ProtectOurPeople
#ResistRepression
#
JustPeacePH 
#
FreeAllPoliticalPrisoners

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d10 international human rights day pdx: depensahan
photo by Daniel vincent

 

 

For Immediate Release
February 20, 2015

Contact:
Angelica Lim - Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines
Karn Saetang- Portland Asians for Black Lives

Portland Asians 4 Black Lives & Portland Committee for Human Rights in Philippines (PCHRP) Rise in Solidarity with the Family of Akai Gurley and Police Accountability

On November 20th, 2014, Akai Gurley, an unarmed black man, was shot and killed by Officer Peter Liang, a Chinese American NYPD rookie. Officer Liang was indicted, and this month, was found guilty of of manslaughter and official misconduct.

In response to the national rallies in support of Officer Liang, Portland Asians for Black Lives (A4BL) and Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (PCHRP) declare our solidarity with the family and community of Akai Gurley, with the ‪#‎blacklivesmatter‬ movement, and with all black self determination movements that call for the abolition of a greedy judicial system. We see the indictment of Officer Liang as the first necessary step toward holding the NYPD accountable to the communities it claims to protect and serve. To echo the statement released by API People’s Solidarity, “We as members of pan-Asian community understand the sentiments of wanting to take care of our own and to object when the criminal injustice system gets its death grip on a community member who is someone’s grandson, brother and son. In the case of Peter Liang, we know with certainty that to support his indictment is to stand on the side of justice. Officer Liang must be held accountable for his use of deadly force that led to the ending of Akai Gurley’s life.”

PCHRP and A4BL understands this issue stems beyond the actions of one individual police officer, but is a symptom of a larger institutional and systemic problem of police brutality and other forms of state violence against black communities. Peter and all cops should be held accountable in their actions in killing unarmed black folks no matter their race or gender. Like Peter, all cops voluntarily became police officers and are participants of the larger problem of the criminal justice system that targets our Black and Brown folks every 28 hours.

We support the indictment of Officer Liang, and we call for the accountability of all officers and the U.S. criminal and economic system they protect. As the U.S. increases its military presence from Korea to the Philippines to maintain economic and imperial control, the U.S. also seeks to arm and assimilate Asian officers like Peter Liang to guard the lucrative U.S. judicial system. Rather than unite with the same economic system that desires to assimilate Asians to the interests of a U.S. government that seeks control of our resources and land, we call for unification with black self-determination movements, knowing that our freedom is bound together.

##



For Immediate Release
25 November 2015

Reference: Angelica Lim, PCHRP Womxn’s Desk Coordinator, angelica.a.lim@gmail.com


PCHRP Womxn’s Desk Honors the
Resilience and Survival of Womxn on IDEVAW

PORTLAND, OR --- On November 25, 2015, the International Day to End Violence Against Women, an anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist militant womxn’s group from Portland came together to call out the violence perpetrated against Womxn*, trans-womxn, and children.

“Today, womxn and accomplices are fighting for genuine liberation from oppressive systems that are perpetuating violence. We remember Jennifer Laude and transwomxn murdered by US marines. We shed tears for womxn who experience escalated interpersonal violence due to workforce discrimination. Today, we rose and tomorrow we will rise again,” Trisha Elizarde-Miller of the Womxn’s Desk stated.

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The Womxn’s Desk of Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (PCHRP) is a budding group of progressive militant womxn building an organizing desk in the greater Portland area. They are invested in educating, serving, and advocating for rights of Filipin@s locally and internationally. The Womxn’s Desk is a member organization of Gabriela USA,  a grassroots-based alliance of more than 200 organizations of womxn all over the Philippines seeking to wage a struggle for the liberation of all oppressed Filipin@ womxn and the rest of our people.


The plight of Filipin@ womxn in the U.S. continues to go unnoticed, similar to the experiences of our sisters in the Philippines. On the national level, laws lay claim to our reproductive rights, limiting access to culturally relevant health care and quality education, pushing youth down a school-to-prison pipeline. Gabriela USA Chairperson Valerie Francisco stated: “Women must also shoulder the added burden of economic violence as the crisis of capitalism worsens the lives of working class families. With the cost of living rising in many cities across America, housing injustice ensures more low income families are faced with evictions, foreclosing of their homes --- placing the burden on womxn to hold their families together. Moreover, state repression and violence has been on the rise with blatant attacks on black and brown people, massive deportations of immigrants and migrants, creating a breeding ground for movements of resistance and self determination to rise up out of these chains of oppression.”

Violent conditions have intensified for Filipino womxn who grapple with poverty in a feudal-patriarchal context. On Nov 17-19, 2015, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Conference held in Manila, hosted 21-member countries to push an agenda of free trade. In reality, such written agreements privatize and deregulate international trade, supporting the infiltration of  corporations that outcompete domestic businesses. Neoliberal policies ensure Filipina womxn are deprioritized, utilized as human capital to feed into labor export policies, in effect, separating families for unforeseeable amounts of time. Filipinas internationally are portrayed as subservient and disposable as they comprise the majority of migrant workers globally. The ongoing turmoil in the Philippines have forced the migration of an estimated 6,000 Filipinos from the Philippines daily where we witness vulnerability to trafficking abuse and exploitative violence. 

At the root of the problem, the Obama-Aquino governments have remained silent to the injustices committed against its own people. Rather than exercise justice, they perpetrate impunity. They are guilty of covering up trans-murder and the massacre of Lumad (indigenous) people, privy to the constant exploitation of neoliberal globalization.  We stand with our comrades internationally opposing neoliberal offenses, who are in the struggle for national independence and the fight for genuine socio-economic development based on justice. 

On November 24, the PCHRP Womxn’s Desk held an event to commemorate and connect with Filipinos and allies in the Portland area. “22 womxn and allies linked together against gender based violence by sharing stories, poems, and dance. We opened the night with a personalized story of a Filipina woman impacted by interpersonal violence, which stemmed from religious ideologies and the worsening economic conditions of the Philippines. The night concluded with a dance choreographed by Gabriela Philippines, which called us to reconnect with our bodies and rise in revolutionary dance,” Elizarde-Miller explains. 

The Womxn’s desk of PCHRP strives to challenge the perpetuation of Violence Against Womxn that victimizes, blames, or shames the womxn’s lived experience. Because one in three womxn is raped in their lifetime, our first step is to normalize conversations of violence and examine the institutional systems that put prices on our bodies and minds. We must raise our community’s consciousness by dismantling the practice of victim blaming - we must recognize these violations as everyone’s reality. 

Join us from November 25 - December 14 with GABRIELA USA in 4 weeks of Action  as we honor the silenced, the suffering, and the survivors. Join us in the call to end violence perpetrated by global imperialist systems that benefit from the oppression of working-class women, children, and their families. We urge our communities to defend the rights of womxn and join the International movement to end the violence!

We invite you to join us for actions across the US throughout the next 4 weeks.  Below is a list of important dates and contact information of the various chapter organizations and women's desks near you.

  1. November 25: International Day for the  Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW)

  2. December 4: Anniversary of the Guilty Verdict of Lance Corporal Daniel Smith for the rape of "Nicole"

  3. December 10: International Human Rights Day  

  4. December 12: International Day Against Human Trafficking

  5. December 14: Court Verdict for US Marine PFC Joseph Scott Pemberton for the brutal murder of Jennifer Laude

  6. December 18: International Migrants Day

 



ADVANCE THE MILITANT WOMXN’S MOVEMENT IN THE PHILIPPINES AND AROUND THE WORLD! 


#IDEVAW2015
#GABRIELAUSA

#Rise4Revolution

#OBR2016

#IWWD2016

*The spelling of womxn instead of women is to offer a more inclusive spelling of the word. “The “x” is meant to be an inclusive and progressive term that stands for the many different identities, struggles, and  intersectionalities.”

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For Immediate Release
November 17, 2015

 
Reference: Nikki De Leon, Chair, Portland Committee For Human Rights in the Philippines (PCHRP), email: nikkimdeleon@gmail.com

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11 Years After the Hacienda Luisita Massacre,
Portland Filipinos Continue to Demand Justice for the Victims and their Families

Portland, OR – On the 11th year anniversary of the Hacienda Luisita Massacre, Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (PCHRP) hosted a film showing of “Sa Ngalan ng Tubo” (In the name of the Sugarcane) to highlight the political repression and violent atrocities that occur in our homeland, the Philippines. The film showing was followed by a candlelight vigil honoring the martyrs and their surviving comrades. We call on our communities to demand justice for the victims and families of the massacre. We hope to not only light candles, but also the fire within us that will push us to act and call on B.S. Aquino to redistribute the Hacienda Luisita lands to its 6,000 rightful farmer beneficiaries.
 
11 years ago today, seven farm workers were killed while hundreds of others were injured and unlawfully arrested after police and military personnel opened fire on thousands of striking sugar workers near the gate of the Central Azucarera de Tarlac (CAT) mill in Hacienda Luisita – the controversial 6,453-hectare estate controlled for nearly five decades by one of the Philippines’ most powerful landlord families, the Cojuangco-Aquino clan. The current Philippine President, Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III, is a fifth generation scion of the Cojuangcos. 11 years later, the Hacienda Luisita Massacre remains unresolved and no investigation has been conducted nor has anyone been arrested for the murder of the farmworkers, all of whom were unarmed and within their legal right to wage a labor strike.
 
The Philippines is plagued by corruption that results in continued landlessness of the masses, a lack of industrialization, and the privatization of land and services. This is evident in the 10 billion pesos that politicians and businessmen pocketed from the year 2003 to 2013 by way of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), over 21,000 filipinos affected by forced eviction and demolition of communities, and the ongoing displacement of the indigenous Lumads in  communities in Mindanao.
 
 “We understand that Land is Life. The Hacienda Luisita Massacre is a testament to the many of those who struggle and understand that their life is connected to the land. We must see these connections and see our responsibility to end U.S. imperialism that perpetuates the injustices brought onto the people in the Philippines,” Angelica Lim, PCHRP Womxns Desk Lead, stated. “PCHRP strongly supports the workers of Hacienda Luisita in commemorating the bloody massacre and their continuous struggle to fight for justice and redistribution of their land. We condemn the Aquino government for the continuous injustice against the Hacienda Luisita farmworkers,” Lim added. 
 
LyLy Dinh, PCHRP Solidarity Committee member, offers: “Even through distances of miles and time, through this documentary, we are witnesses to the blatant murder and oppression of the Filipino people, of those who only attempt to protect their rights and land, their livelihood, something that still happens to this day. How can we then, as witnesses to such immoral acts against human rights, not be moved to act and serve, to stand in solidarity with those whose voices, bodies, and lives are silenced and taken from them every day?” Filipinos and allies in Portland stand in solidarity with the farmworkers of Hacienda Luisita in their struggle for justice and genuine agrarian reform.
 
Justice for the Victims of the Hacienda Luisita Massacre!
B.S. Cojuanco-Aquino: Distribute HLI Lands to the Farmworkers!
Land is Life! Genuine Agrarian Reform Now!
###


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 12, 2015
Reference: Nikki De Leon
Chairperson, Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (PCHRP),
portlandchrp@gmail.com, 503-915-7689

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Portland Filipinos and Community Human Rights Advocates Rise Together to Commemorate International Human Rights Day

Portland, OR -- Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (PCHRP) will hold the 2nd Annual International Human Rights Day Solidarity Night: Rising Up for Self-Determination and Liberation on December 10, 2015 at 7:00pm. The cultural event, which will be held in the Filipino-American Center, aims to reach a broad audience in Portland to build bridges and solidarity among progressive, pro-people individuals and organizations in an effort to raise awareness about human rights violations locally, nationally, and globally. It also features solidarity messages and cultural presentations from Portland community members and a designated sacred space where attendees could honor and celebrate the lives of people lost through human rights violations. Additionally, this event features progressive community organizational tables, silent auction, and selected no-host dinner and drinks from the in-house Kuya’s Filipino Cuisine.

International Human Rights Day is observed by the international community every year on December 10 to commemorate the United Nations General Assembly adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. “D10 is a day of solidarity and remembrance of people all over the world who continue to be oppressed by human rights violations - those who are systematically marginalized, disappeared, imprisoned, and killed,” Drew Elizarde-Miller, PCHRP Solidarity Officer, stated. “This is also a day in which we honor and remember the ways people all over the world resist these systems of repression through different forms of struggles for self-determination and liberation,” Elizarde-Miller added.

PCHRP Chairperson Nikki De Leon recounts: “As an organization, PCHRP sheds light on the role of the U.S. economic and political intervention in the Philippines on the increasing and worsening exploitation of the Filipino people. PCHRP also exposes and opposes the Philippine government’s humiliating record of human rights violations including increased militarization under the U.S.-backed counter-insurgency program, Oplan Bayanihan, which is responsible for the worsening extra-judicial killings of the indigenous Mindanao Lumads.” Notably, the case of the murder of transgender Filipina woman Jennifer Laude by U.S. Marine Joseph Pemberton and the most recent killings of Lumad leaders Emerito Samarca, Dionel Campus, and Bello Sinzo bring to light the ways in which the U.S. military and U.S.-backed Philippine military endanger the lives of Filipino women, children, and LGBTQIGNC people. Angelica Lim, PCHRP Womxn’s Desk Coordinator, remarks: “This historic trend of treating the Philippine Islands and its people as a place for ‘rest and recreation’ activities correlates to the intensification in prostitution and abuse in and around military bases.” PCHRP recognizes that the struggles of our communities around the world are intricately linked together and this event featuring cultural performances and visual exhibits aims to highlight these links to promote and advance the human rights struggle for self-determination and liberation of oppressed people around the world. 

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Drew Elizarde-Miller at dscmiller@gmail.com or (503)476-2179. For more information about PCHRP, please visit www.portlandchrp.com. 

Date:         Thursday, December 10, 2015
Time:     7:00 - 9:00 pm
Location:     Filipino-American Center
8917 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97216

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For Immediate Release
September 4, 2015

Reference:
Kenneth Crebillo, Youth Desk, Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (PCHRP), kencrebillo@gmail.com
Joseph Gonzalez, Educational Development Officer, Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (PCHRP), gjoseph@pdx.edu
Justin Katigbak, Mass Campaigns Officer, Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (PCHRP), katigbakj@pdx.edu

Portland Human Rights Advocates demand justice for the killing of Lumad leaders in Surigao Del Sur

The Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (PCHRP) condemns the torture and extrajudicial killing of indigenous Lumad tribal leaders and educators allegedly by elements of the 36th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army and paramilitary force, Maghat Bagani forces at the Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV), tribal school in Sitio Han-ayan, Surigao Del Sur, Mindanao in the morning of September 1, 2015. Those slain include Emirito Samarca, executive directer of ALCADEV, Dionel Camps, chairperson of Malahutayong Pakigbison sa Sumusunod (MAPASU), and his cousin Aurelio Sinzo. This is just three days after two brothers were killed in Surigao Del Sur, alleged by the tribal forces known locally as Bagani. 

ALCADEV is one of many Lumad schools that provides relevant education to Lumad communities that the Philippine government fails to provide to indigenous communities. These schools teach children crucial skills such as literacy, math, sustainable agricultural production, and an understanding of their political and human rights. ALCADEV has been supportive of MAPASU’s campaign to defend indigenous lands against development of large scale mining and plantations and to fight for self determination. Due to this, alternative indigenous schools have been maliciously tagged as “NPA Schools” and have been subject to harassment, occupation, disruption, and military violence. 

These are just the latest acts of violence caused by the Armed Forces of the Philippines under the U.S.- Aquino’s  counterinsurgency program Oplan Bayanihan. In the guise of upholding “peace and “security”, Oplan Bayanihan, just like the previous counterinsurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya of the U.S.- Arroyo regime, brought not  peace and security, but instead death, torture, violence, harassments and the occupation of land in Lumad communities. There are currently over 2,000 Lumads from the community that have evacuated to find safe locations away from the aggression of the Armed Forces of the Philippine and other paramilitary forces in the area. 

The Philippine government is denying Lumads of their rights to free, relevant, and uninterrupted education, as well as the  Lumads’ right to life. The Armed Forces of the Philippines are violating international humanitarian laws that the Philippines are a signatory of, particularly the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (A/RES/61/295) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

As a U.S. based human rights organization, PCHRP recognizes the role of the U.S. government's complicity in militarization, displacement, and murder of indigenous peoples, activists, and human rights defenders in the Philippines. PCHRP calls for the end of U.S. military aid to the Philippines which is allocated at $50 million of our tax money every year towards military financing which directly assists in human rights violations, and strengthens counterinsurgency programs against community leaders. We call for an end to the Visiting Forces Agreement, and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement which allows U.S. soldiers to train and increase AFP military operations that target civilians and violates their human rights. The disruption of the education of indigenous youth and students, military occupation, violent and traumatizing deaths of community leaders, and the peril that comes with evacuations can’t be ignored by the international community. PCHRP calls upon all youth, students, womyn, LBGTQ, and all defenders of peace, justice, and human rights around the world to rise in solidarity on an international level and demand justice for Emerito Samarca, Dionel Campos, Bello Sinzo, and all community members of Han-ayan and Surigao Del Sur who are fighting for their rights to live, to be educated, and their rights to self-determination. 

JUSTICE FOR EMERITO SAMARCA, DIONEL CAMPOS, BELLO SINZO AND THE TABUGOL BROTHERS!

STOP EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS!

TROOPS OUT OF COMMUNITIES!

END OPLAN BAYANIHAN AND STATE SPONSORED VIOLENCE!

END IMPUNITY NOW!

JUNK EDCA AND ALL U.S. MILITARY SUPPORT TO THE PHILIPPINES!

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Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (PCHRP) is an organizing committee of immigrant youth, students, professionals, workers and allies working together in solidarity to advance in the national democratic movement in the Philippines, in the United States through education, leadership development and political action. 

www.portlandchrp.com
E: portlandchrp@gmail.com
IG: @portlandchrp
FB: /portlandchrp


For Immediate Release
May 19, 2015

Reference: Adrianne Sebastian, PCHRP Mass Campaigns Committee Member portlandchrp@gmail.com

Portland Filipinos Continue to Demand Justice for Melissa Roxas

Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (PCHRP) remembers six years ago today, on May 19, 2009, Filipina-American activist Melissa Roxas who was abducted, blindfolded, handcuffed, and illegally tortured at a Philippine military camp while on a fact-finding and medical mission in La Paz, Tarlac, Philippines. Under the Aquino government, Roxas was accused of being an “enemy of the state” for conspiring with the New People’s Army, though Roxas was innocent of all accusations. Roxas and two other volunteers were interrogated and beaten for six days, resurfacing only following the people power of Bayan organizations and allies who mobilized tirelessly to demand her release. 

The state repression worsens under B.S. Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan counter-insurgency program, continuing to target innocent civilians like Melissa Roxas. Her story illuminates the ongoing state-sponsored violence against the Filipin@ people, fueled by the Philippine government and perpetuated by the Armed Force of the Philippines. Six years later, justice has yet to be served for Melissa Roxas and the thousands continually victimized of state-sponsored disappearances, illegal detentions, tortures, and killings. The Philippine government continues to deny responsibility - it has neither investigated the injustice nor prosecuted the perpetrators. Despite Melissa’s efforts to testify before the Philippine court system and file complaints with the US State Department and United Nations, due process has yet to be attained. 

Melissa courageously continues to tell her story in the pursuit of justice for her and all victims of gross human rights violations. She tells her story for the thousands silenced by the tyranny of the Aquino government, which continuously exploits the most vulnerable of its citizens while absolving the human rights violators. PCHRP, in solidarity with BAYAN USA, stands with Melissa Roxas and all victims and survivors of human rights violations in the ongoing struggle for visibility, accountability, and justice from the Aquino government.

JUSTICE FOR MELISSA ROXAS & ALL VICTIMS OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS!
JUSTICE FOR ALL VICTIMS OF STATE-SPONSORED DISAPPEARANCES AND TORTURE!
END US MILITARY AID TO THE PHILIPPINES!
END OPLAN BAYANIHAN!
NO TO TPPA & US PIVOT TO ASIA PACIFIC!
FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS NOW!

More info & to support Melissa’s Campaign: http://justiceformelissa.org/

***
A Poem for Melissa
by Adrianne Sebastian

Melissa Roxas 
has taught us 
struck the match illuminating injustice 
the Aquino government, fueled by capital, loveless
6 days in the dark, wet, bloody, despair 
psychological warfare 
gunshots in close proximity, blindfolded, beaten until blue 
life longing sweet release her soul seeking to renew 
she saw white light, military force pushed to end her healing art 
but no amount of force could break the activism in her spiritual heart
abducted illegally with cruel intent 
Agitate the people and organize, for Melissa is Inosente!  
contingents mobilized strong for her release
but 6 years later she still mends her scars in bittersweet peace
buying time and silence won't sweep this story out of sight 

We will always fight for Filipin@ human rights 
we don't play victim, unyielding we thrive
resilient, in shadows we survive 
though at an expense - our bodies grow tense with a survivor's mentality 
how long are our brown bodies to be examples of bruises and brutality 
fellow humans looking to us as if we are the ones that lack humanity 

We internalize our burdens, sleep with our strife 
cut ourselves open so deep with their knife 
sword and cross the arms of imperialist rule, 
miseducation of the masses as their tool 
maintaining our shackles and ties 

But when we expose truth hidden between lies 
we rise in true democracy dismantling centuries of patriarchy 
self-healing in collective identity
reclaiming our people's rightful destiny

Justice for Melissa can heal the movement's soul 
patch up neglected wounds a step forward toward the goal
perhaps we believe in a greater freedom, 
a world of our design 
a land that is ours should Aquino Resign! 

Melissa Roxas 
has taught us 
no one is safe 
yet fearless Filipinos we are innate
life's light strengthened by premature death
Resistance in each lived breath  

***

Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines
portlandchrp@gmail.com
http://www.portlandchrp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/portlandchrp
---
Executive Committee:
Chairperson - Rossella De Leon, rosselladeleon@gmail.com
Education Officer - Angelica Lim, angelica.a.lim@gmail.com
Mass Campaign Officer - Justin Katigbak, katigbak.j@gmail.com
Organizational Development Officer - Geleen Abenoja, gel.abenoja@gmail.com
Cultural Officer - Kenneth Crebillo, crebillo@pdx.edu
Finance Officer - Nikki De Leon, nikkimdeleon@gmail.com


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
8 MARCH 2015


Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines presents: 
THE POWER PROJECT on this INTERNATIONAL WORKING WOMEN'S DAY 2015

In honor and celebration of the struggles, resiliency, and victories of ALL self-identifying women/womyn around the world, PCHRP brings you THE POWER PROJECT, a visual project that encapsulates the dynamic and rich lives of women in the Portland area.

We seek to use this project as a way to build solidarity among the multiplicity of nations, ethnicities, and cultures that create a Portland culture of resistance and fight. We also aim to highlight the powerful ways in which we thrive as women, in the face of intense attacks on our livelihoods, our bodies, and our communities.

Participants have been invited to share their stories, poetries, photographies, and other creative pieces related to the International Working Women's Day's theme of solidarity, fighting spirit, resistance, and empowerment. They were also invited to answer the question,
What makes you feel powerful?

We invite you to
ENTER HERE
to see the faces representing women from the multiciplity of communities in the Portland area. Together, we rise with women globally in representation and power. 

Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines
portlandchrp@gmail.com
http://www.portlandchrp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/portlandchrp
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Executive Committee:
Chairperson - Rossella De Leon, rosselladeleon@gmail.com
Education Officer - Angelica Lim, angelica.a.lim@gmail.com
Mass Campaign Officer - Justin Katigbak, katigbak.j@gmail.com
Organizational Development Officer - Nikki De Leon, ndeleon@pdx.edu
Cultural Officer - Kenneth Crebillo, crebillo@pdx.edu
Finance Officer - Raul Francisco-Menchavez, raulmenchavez@gmail.com


For Immediate Release
February 10, 2015

Filipino Solidarity Week: DOWN WITH THE TPPA! 

Portland Committee for Human Right’s in the Philippines (PCHRP) and Oregon Fair Trade Campaign say NO to the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). This agreement is dangerous in two main ways: one, it will restrict international property laws and two, is the lack of transparency to the public and how these agreement documents have been kept out of the public eye. This agreement will exploit the working class and third world countries as greedy capitalist companies like Wal-Mart, Goldman Sachs, and Philip Morris look to make profit. 

Once again we see the disregard these greedy companies have for human lives as they try to make a quick buck. Right now, President Obama is asking Congress to Fast Track this deal with little debate and congressional oversight. If the TPPA goes through, it will affect our free speech, trade policies, how we get our medicine, and our environment. 

Just like NAFTA, this will ship jobs overseas to exploit third world countries to make profit. The Philippines will feel the brunt of this as companies will look to exploit our people and more human right’s violations will occur. This has the potential of destroying the Filipino peoples land, as mining corporations look to mine the natural resources that the Philippines is well known for. This will lead to displacement of Indigenous communities and killings of indigenous leaders and other community leaders, like the Capion Family who were killed by by Xstrata-SMI and the 27th Infantry Battalion (IB) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). The Armed Forces of the Philippines are continually being used as cronies for U.S. Imperialist agendas and are not serving or protecting the people whom they have sworn to protect and in fact are being used by U.S. transnational corporations to support the continued plunder and stealing of land against the will of the Filipino People.  

We CALL TO ACTION the Filipino Community in Portland & the working class all over the world to oppose the TPPA and say NO to Fast Track. For Oregonians please call and email Sen. Wyden & Rep. Blumenauer's Offices to tell him we don’t agree with the TPPA by dialing (202) 224-3121. And join us for a day of action with the 2015 Fair Trade or Bus Tour in Oregon on Wednesday, February 18th. We will speak out for good-paying jobs and a healthy environment by saying no to fast tracking the TPP. Get on the bus 9am, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1624 NE Hancock. 10am Rep Bonamici's Office (12725 SW Millikan Way, Beaverton), 12pm rally outside Congressman Blumenauer's office then march to Senator Wyden's office (729 NE Oregon Street), 3pm Rep Schrader's office (544 Ferry Street SE, Salem). Join for the full day or any one of the stops. RSVP: elizabeth@oregonfairtrade.org. 

For more info on this issue you can visit, StopFastTrack.com

Down with the TPPA!
NO to FAST TRACK!
Filipino International Solidarity Week! 

-Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines
-Oregon Fair Trade Campaign 

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PCHRP: Portland Committee for Human Rights is an organization composed of Filipino and Filipino American immigrant youth, students, professionals, workers, and allies working together in solidarity to advance the national democratic movement of the Philippines in the U.S. through education, leadership development, and political action. PCHRP is a member organization of Bayan USA, an alliance of 18 progressive Filipino organizations in the U.S. representing students, scholars, women, workers, artists, and youth, which 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.

Oregon Fair Trade Campaign: The Oregon Fair Trade Campaign is a statewide grassroots organization committed to fighting for trade policy that:

-prioritizes quality jobs in communities across the state
-creates markets for Oregon products byraising the standard of livingin neighboring  countries
-enforces consistent standards for labor and the environment across borders
-allows our producers to compete on a level playing field


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
December 8, 2014 

Reference: Rossella De Leon 
Chairperson, Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (PCHRP),
portlandchrp@gmail.com503-915-7283 

Progressive Filipinos and Human Rights Advocates in Portland Join Together to Commemorate International Human Rights Day

 Portland, OR -- Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (PCHRP) will hold “For Whom: We Rise Together, International Human Rights Day” on December 10, 2014 at 6:30pm. The cultural event, which will be held in the Native American Student and Community Center at Portland State University, aims to reach a broad audience from Portland and to build bridges and solidarity across communities in an effort to raise awareness about human rights violations nationally and globally. Performers at the event include, but are not limited to human rights advocates from PCHRP, Brown Girl Pride, Movimiento Estudiantil Chican@ de Aztlan, All-African People's Revolutionary Party, Portland State Hip Hop Alliance, Oregon Fair Trade Campaign, Central American Solidarity Committee, Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights, Black Student Union, and the Portland Human Rights Commission. 

For Whom: We Rise Together will showcase cultural performers who will share with the audience for whom they do the crucial community work that they do. At the event, there will also be a designated sacred space where community members could honor and celebrate the lives of people lost through human rights violations. “International Human Rights day is a day of solidarity and remembrance of people all over the world who are repressed by human rights violations - those who are marginalized, oppressed, systematically silenced, killed, disappeared, imprisoned, or who have lost family members due to state violence,” Kenneth Crebillo, PCHRP Cultural Officer, stated. “This is also a day in which we honor and remember the ways people all over the world are resisting these systems of repression through struggles of liberation,” Crebillo added. 

Through musical and dance performances and visual exhibits, “For Whom” is an event aimed at shedding light on the human rights violations happening here on U.S. soil, including police brutality and state repression as in the case with the ongoing movement for justice for Michael Brown in Ferguson, the increasing violence against the LGBTQIAA community, the lack of recognition for the rightful natives of the stolen land we all continue to occupy, and the continuous abuse of undocumented people who are treated as less than humans. Additionally, this event will include international solidarity to the people of Palestine who are subjected to air strikes and military violence every day, the people of Hong Kong in peaceful protest against the Beijing government that is encroaching on their freedom, and all the repressed people all over the world who seek true justice and fight for a world rid of human rights violations. As an organization, PCHRP highlights the role of the U.S. intervention and militarization in the Philippines and the increased human rights violations committed on the Filipino people in the Philippines. Notably, the recent case of the death of Jennifer Laude, a transgender Filipina woman who was allegedly murdered by U.S. Marine Joseph Pemberton on October 11, 2014, brings to light the ways in which U.S. military occupation in the Philippines endangers the lives of Filipino women, children, and LGBTQ people. This historic trend of treating the Philippine Islands and its people as a place for “rest and recreation” activities correlates to the uptick in prostitution and abuse in and around bases. 

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Kenneth Crebillo at crebillo@pdx.edu. For more information about PCHRP, please visitwww.portlandchrp.com.  

Date: Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 pm 
Location: Native American Student and Community Center 
Portland State University 
710 SW Jackson St. Portland, OR 97201  

You may RSVP at the event invitation HERE.  


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 5, 2014

Reference: Rossella De Leon, Portland Emergency Relief Task Force for the Philippines (also known as PDX Relief), pdxrelief@gmail.com503-915-7283

pdxrelief.jpg

Portland Filipinos Reactivate PDX Relief as the Philippines Brace for
Super Typhoon Hagupit/Ruby

Portland, OR -- As another super typhoon advances towards the Philippines, concerned Filipinos in Portland came together to discuss ways to be proactive in providing support where it will be needed in the Philippines shortly. Typhoon Hagupit, also known as Typhoon Ruby, is expected to make landfall on Saturday evening. It is expected to hit the Samar provinces and the city of Tacloban, the very same areas in the Philippines where thousands were killed when Typhoon Haiyan hit one year ago. “In the wake of Typhoon Haiyan last year, PDX Relief was immediately created and the task force quickly disseminated information and undertook numerous fundraisers, charity concerts, and projects to raise almost $10,000 to help typhoon victims. The immediate formation and action of PDX Relief was a testament to the need for solidarity during times of crisis and devastation,” Christian Aniciete, PDX Relief Organizer, stated. “As the Philippines braces itself for another typhoon, PDX Relief calls on our Portland community to come together to pull together our vast array of resources in preparation for supporting those who may be affected,” Aniciete added.

PDX Relief calls on the Filipino American community and concerned citizens in the Portland Metro area to rekindle the spirit of unity and support that brought us together last year by getting involved with PDX Relief. This task force was created to address the continual, long-term relief, rebuilding, and rehabilitation stages of not only infrastructures but also communities in the wake of calamities in the Philippines. “The solidarity, collective grassroots organizing, information, and calendar of relief events and donation centers that PDX Relief can provide are invaluable for those looking for ways to help,” Aniciete further stated.

We encourage community members to course their donations through the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON), a multi-issue alliance of Filipino organizations with direct contacts to pro-people groups and organizations on the ground who are equipped and experienced to provide relief and committed to serving the people by seeing the victims and survivors through relief, rebuilding, and rehabilitation stages. “We all know the magnitude of devastation a super typhoon like Hagupit could bring. The urgency for relief monetary donations is not to be understated as this top-level Category 5 cyclone could bring life-threatening winds, storm surges, and flash floods,” said Patrick Villaflores, another PDX Relief Organizer. PDX Relief calls on the Portland community to donate through NAFCON's Bayanihan Program which has raised over $1 million through grassroots efforts to provide comprehensive support to over 200,000 Typhoon Haiyan victims and survivors last year. NAFCON still has people on the ground who are just as committed to continue their volunteer work to help those who will be affected by Typhoon Hagupit.

For those who are interested in donating locally, hosting a Typhoon Hagupit fundraiser, or joining PDX Relief, please contact the following PDX Relief Organizers:

Christian Aniciete, pdxrelief@gmail.com, 971-563-5758
Patrick Villaflores, 
pdxrelief@gmail.com, 503-927-9871
Rossella De Leon, pdxrelief@gmail.com, 503-915-7283

More information about PDX Relief is available here:

http://pdxrelief.wordpress.com

https://www.facebook.com/PDXRelief

Donations can also be made directly to NAFCON online at http://nafconusa.org. NAFCON’s one year financial report on donations received for Typhoon Haiyan is available here: http://nafconusa.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/NAFCON-Haiyan-Donations-One-Year-Report.pdf

Portland Emergency Task Force for the Philippines, also known as PDX Relief, is a task force of Filipino American organizations, city of Portland and Oregon state elected officials, multi-racial and inter-faith non-profit organizations, business leaders, colleges and universities, and city and county agencies in the Portland Metro area who have joined together in response to the severe damage of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda in the Philippines. PDX Relief hopes to mobilize quickly in response to any disaster threatening to affect the Philippines. 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 22, 2014

Reference: Rossella De Leon
Chairperson, Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (PCHRP), portlandchrp@gmail.com, (503) 915-7283

Progressive Filipinos and Human Rights Advocates in Portland Join Together to Commemorate International Human Rights Day

Portland, OR -- Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (PCHRP) will hold “For Whom: We Rise Together, International Human Rights Day” on December 10, 2014  at 6:30pm. The cultural event, which will be held in the Native American Student and Community Center at Portland State University, aims to reach a broad audience from Portland and to build bridges and solidarity across communities in an effort to raise awareness about human rights violations nationally and globally.  Performers at the event include, but are not limited to human rights advocates from PCHRP, PSU Kaibigan, Brown Girl Pride, All-African People's Revolutionary Party, Portland Central American Solidarity Committee, Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights, Black Student Union, and the Portland Human Rights Commission. For Whom: We Rise Together will showcase cultural performers who will share with the audience for whom they do the crucial community work that they do. At the event, there will also be a designated sacred space where community members could honor and celebrate the lives of people lost through human rights violations.

“International Human Rights day is a day of solidarity and remembrance of people all over the world who are repressed by human rights violations - those who are marginalized, oppressed, systematically silenced, killed, disappeared, imprisoned, or who have lost family members due to state violence,” Kenneth Crebillo, PCHRP Cultural Officer, stated. “This is also a day in which we honor and remember the ways people all over the world are resisting these systems of repression through struggles of liberation,” Crebillo added.

Through musical and dance performances and visual exhibits, “For Whom” is an event aimed at shedding light on the human rights violations happening here on U.S. soil, including police brutality and state repression as in the case with the ongoing movement for justice for Michael Brown in Ferguson, the increasing violence against the LGBTQIAA community, the lack of recognition for the rightful natives of the stolen land we all continue to occupy, and the continuous abuse of undocumented people who are treated as less than humans. Additionally, this event will include international solidarity to the people of Palestine who are subjected to air strikes and military violence every day, the people of Hong Kong in peaceful protest against the Beijing government that is encroaching on their freedom, and all the repressed people all over the world who seek true justice and fight for a world rid of human rights violations.

As an organization, PCHRP highlights the role of the U.S. intervention and militarization in the Philippines and the increased human rights violations committed on the Filipino people in the Philippines. Notably, the recent case of the death of Jennifer Laude, a transgender Filipina woman who was allegedly murdered by U.S. Marine Joseph Pemberton on October 11, 2014, brings to light the ways in which U.S. military occupation in the Philippines endangers the lives of Filipino women, children, and LGBTQ people. This historic trend of treating the Philippine Islands and its people as a place for “rest and recreation” activities correlates to the uptick in prostitution and abuse in and around bases.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Kenneth Crebillo atcrebillo@pdx.edu. For more information about PCHRP, please visit www.portlandchrp.com.

Date: Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 pm
Location: Native American Student and Community Center
Portland State University
710 SW Jackson St. 
Portland, OR 97201


For Immediate Release
November 16, 2014

Reference: Justin Katigbak, Mass Campaign Officer, Portland Committee For Human Rights in the Philippines (PCHRP), email: katigbak.j@gmail.com

10 Years After the Hacienda Luisita Massacre,
Portland Filipinos Continue to Demand Justice for the Victims and their Families

On the 10th year anniversary of the Hacienda Luisita Massacre, Portland Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (PCHRP) demands justice for the victims and families of the massacre. PCHRP also calls on B.S. Aquino to redistribute the Hacienda Luisita lands to its 6,000 rightful farmer beneficiaries.

10 years ago today, seven farmworkers were killed while hundreds of others were injured and unlawfully arrested after police and military personnel opened fire on thousands of striking sugar workers near the gate of the Central Azucarera de Tarlac (CAT) mill in Hacienda Luisita – the controversial 6,453-hectare estate controlled for nearly five decades by one of the Philippines’ most powerful landlord families, the Cojuangco-Aquino clan. The current Philippine President, Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III, is a fifth generation scion of the Cojuangcos. 10 years later, the Hacienda Luisita Massacre remains unresolved and no investigation has been conducted nor has anyone been arrested for the murder of the farmworkers, all of whom were unarmed and within their legal right to wage a labor strike.

Furthermore, the Hacienda Luisita farmworkers continue to demand the land which should have been distributed to them a long time ago. Despite the Philippine Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of the farmers’ rights to the Hacienda Luisita, the Cojuangco family continues to deny the just distribution of lands. Thousands of farmworkers still struggle with landlessness, poverty, hunger, and impunity. B.S. Aquino and the Cojuangco clan continue to violently repress the farmers and peasants at Hacienda Luisita and purposely keep the Philippines in a semi-feudal society. He has failed to implement the Supreme Court decision in April 2012 ordering the distribution of the more than four thousand-hectare sugar estate and instead continues to target pro-people activists fighting for genuine land reform.

“President Aquino has deliberately prioritized the interest of his family over that of the very people he swore to protect and serve. It is a shame that a decade after the seven farmworkers lost their lives fighting for what is rightfully theirs, the massacre remains to be unresolved and the beneficiaries of the Hacienda Luisita remain waiting,” Rossella De Leon, PCHRP Chairperson stated. PCHRP strongly supports the workers of Hacienda Luisita in commemorating the bloody massacre and their continuous struggle to fight for justice and redistribution of their land. We condemn the Aquino government for the continuous injustice against the Hacienda Luisita farmworkers. Filipinos in Portland stand in solidarity with the farmworkers of Hacienda Luisita in their struggle for justice and genuine agrarian reform.

Justice for the Victims of the Hacienda Luisita Massacre!
B.S. Cojuanco-Aquino: Distribute HLI Lands to the Farmworkers!
Land is Life! Genuine Agrarian Reform Now!
B.S. Aquino – You’ve Got Blood On Your Hands!
Oust B.S. Aquino! Big Landlord President!

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