Monthly Archives: January 2015

PAKIKIRARAMAY NG ALLIANCE PHILIPPINES SA MGA BIKTIMA NG LABANAN SA MAMASAPANO, MAGUINDANAO, ENERO 24, 2015

ALLIANCE NEWS
Enero 29, 2015

PAKIKIRARAMAY NG ALLIANCE PHILIPPINES SA MGA BIKTIMA NG LABANAN SA MAMASAPANO, MAGUINDANAO, ENERO 24, 2015

Los Angeles—Taus-pusong ipinaabot ng Alliance Philippines ang pakikiramay nito sa lahat ng mga pamilya, kaanak at mga kaibigan ng lahat ng mga naging biktima sa naganap na madugong labanan sa Mamasapano, Maguindanao noong Enero 24, 2015.

Taus pusong nakikipagdalamhati kami sa pamilya, kaanak at mga kaibigan ng mga naulila ng 44 na tropa ng Special Action Force (SAF) ng PNP, 11 tropa ng MILF at ilan pang sibilyan.
Makakalaban man sa larangan, nagpupugay pa rin at nakikiramay kami sa lahat ng magkakalabang panig sa kabayanihan ng mga nasawing sundalo ng magkalabang grupo.

Ipagpatuloy ang Usapang Pangkapayapaan

Naniwala ang Alliance na magpapatuloy ang proseso ng pag-uusap pangkapayaan sa panig ng gobyerno at MILF at harinawa ang sakripisyo ng magkabilang panig ay magbunga ng matagalang kapayapaan na may hustisya sa Mindanao.

Nananawagan din ang Alyansa na itigil na ng mga nanunulsol sa lantarang digmaan at hysteiang anti Muslim at anti-MILF lalong lalo na ang mga militarista sa AFP at PNP maging sa loob ng Kongreso at sa lahat ng sektor ng lipunan.

Bigyan naman ang pagkakataon ang kapayapaan. Tama na ang may mahigit na daan taon ng digmaan at labanan at hanapin ang kalutasan tungo sa kapayapaan, pag-unlad at hustisya.

Para umunay sa alliance tumawag sa (213)241-0995 o mag-email sa pilipinokami76@yahoo.com

Accountability and Deniability

Komunidad
January 28, 2015

Accountability and Deniability

By Arturo P. Garcia

When the news of the “misencounter” between the PNP Special Action Force or the police commandos out to arrest the two most wanted terrorist Bali Bombers from Jamayat islamiya(JI) Marwan and Usman became headlines, many were shocked.

The news detailed that the Philippine police forces suffered one of its worst debacle in the field last January 24, 2015 at Mamapasapano, Maguindanao. When the smoke of battle was cleared, the PNP reported 44 of its SAF were killed and 12 others were wounded. On the other hand, the MILF reported 64 police commandos were dead.

Many questions remained unanswered questions were asked by the public, political analysts, the media and all people from the entire spectrum.

Questions like; how true is the report that the mission order to deploy the 392-man SAF in a sneak operation in MILF territory was signed by Executive Secretary Ochoa by authority of the President?

How true is the related report that Aquino and his security cabinet cluster headed by Ochoa were obliged by the US to make the mission order on the basis of supposed A-1 info from US intelligence that the target JI personalities would certainly be cornered?

How true is the report that the OPAPP endorsed or agreed to the use of SAF for the purpose of “law enforcement” as the way to circumvent the standing ceasefire rule that the GPH needed to consult with the MILF in case of AFP military operations in its territory?”

President Aquino III in a press conference last January 28 answered these questions. But the problem is he never denied his accountability but he also confirmed his accountability.

President Aquino pointed out that there is “an outstanding warrant of arrest” and he has cleared the operations in principle and has given specific instructions for “ coordination” between the PNP and the AFP where he hinted “ the problem might lie with the coordination between the friendly forces.”

Using the reason that “ he does not want to preempt the Board of Inquiry”, he like many others wanted to ascertain the facts before he make any conclusions. Any form of denial but at the same time accepting his accountability as the commander in chief.

But for the peace advocates like me, as President Aquino stated, that ”the best way to honor our fallen heroes is to continue the peace process and pass the Basic Bangsa Moro Law” now suspended in the PH Congress.

On the other side, even the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Central Committee through its Chairman Al Hadji Morad, “ expressed deep sympathy to the relatives and friend of the victims” and promised “ investigations on the their part to go the bottom why the incident appeared.”

While from the sidelines, the usual “dogs of war” are up against the MILF and even President Aquino III. While at most, they are calling for investigation; some are calling for impeachment and cry for vengeance,They are again rattling their sabers and are calling for blood.

From former presidents Erap Estrada, Fidel Ramos, DILG Chief Rafael Alunan III as well as retired military generals, they say” you cannot trust the MILF and are echoing the age old adage, “you can only trust a dead Muslim, but never a Muslim.”

But President Benigno Aquino III remained firm and on his nationwide address asked lawmakers to honor the 44 elite policemen killed in a clash with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) members by passing the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

In a televised speech, Aquino said abandoning the peace process will be a disservice to the fallen officers from the PNP-Special Action Force (SAF).

“Kung hindi magtatagumpay ang prosesong pangkapayapaan, kung babalik tayo sa status quo, o kung lalala pa ang karahasan, di ba’t ito mismo ang kabaliktaran ng kanilang pinagbuwisan ng buhay?” Aquino said.

And for me , that was very well said.

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HELLER-HIRONO BILL, ANOTHER BROKEN PROMISE BILL

JFAV UPDATE
January 26, 2015

HELLER-HIRONO BILL, ANOTHER BROKEN PROMISE BILL

Los Angeles—“Another wrong step into a wrong direction”

The Justice For Filipino American Veterans (JFAV) thru its National Coordinator Arturo Garcia called Senators Dean Heller and Mazie Hirono sponsored “Filipino Veterans Promise Bill of 2015” another “ wrong step into a wrong direction.”

Garcia further said, “Although we are appreciate the concern of Senator Heller and Hirono for our remaining 70,000 Filipino World War II Veterans and 60,000 widows and relatives, we must focused on the real demands of our constituents for total and unconditional recognition and benefits.

We should not be sidetracked with peripheral demands like “ a process that will give them benefits” and not recognition for total equity for our time, our veterans time is limited.

For us time is of the essence because five veterans die a day and the US Congress is dilly –dallying.”

Heller’s Bill, A Recycled Bill

The Filipino Veterans Promise Act “ would direct the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs to consult with military historians and establish a process to determine whether certain individuals might qualify for government benefits and compensation, if they are not already on an approved list.”

Essentially it was akin to Heller’s Promise Bill incorporated to the Sanders Bill passed in the Senate in 20014 that “established a process for 4.500 denied veterans claims in the DVA.” that proceeded at a snail pace.

JFAV challenged Senators Heller and Hirono to file or support the Filipino Veterans Recognition Act of 2013 jointly sponsored by Senator Shatz of Hawaii and Rep. Jackie Speier of California that has been languishing in the US Congress since 2011.

Recognition and Equity, Now!

For JFAV, we want a united bill for Filipino Veterans not stand alone or separate bills for political expediency.

We want a comprehensive equity bill, not a promise bill that will only tantamount to another broken promise.

Garcia said, “ We call on the 114th US Congress, to both the GOP and Democrats to act with dispatch and not perpetuate the racism and discrimination that the Filipino World War II Veterans suffers for more than 69 years.”

For more information please call Al P. Garcia (213) 241-0995 or email us at agarcia@peoplescore.net

Bakit Pilipinotown?

EPCC NEWS
Enero 25, 2015

Artikulo

Bakit Pilipinotown?

Ni Arturo P. Garcia

Bago naideklarang Historic Filipinotown ang lugar natin dito sa Temple-Beverly Corridor noong Agosto 2, 20o2 kilalang kilala ang ating lugar bilang Pilipintown o P-Town.

P-Town, bahala ka kung ano man ang kahulugan nito sa iyo.

Noong unang panahon, mula 1920 hanggang 1946, ang lugar ng mga manggagawang bukid o farmworkers na Pilipino ay tinatawag nilang “Little Manila”. ito ay dahil Maynila ang kilala nilang pinangggalingan. Noong panahong iyon, dahil sakop ng Amerika ang Pilipinas, wala pang konsepto ang mga Pilipino na sila ay galing sa isang bansang ang tawag ay Filipinas.

Little Manila

Nagsimula ang Manilatown o “Little Manila” sa lugar ng San Pedro-Willmington area noong 1920. Sa katunayan naroon pa hanggang ngayon ang Pilipino Center sa Wilmington.

Ngunit dahil ang Los Angeles ang kabisera, lumarga papaloob ang mga mangagagawang Pilipino hanggang nanahan sila sa “Little Manila” sa Silangan ng City Hall ng Los Angeles, sa tabi ng Ilog sa timugang ng Los Angeles.

Ngunit noong matapos ang gyera, pinaalis ang mga Pilipino sa “Little Manila” at nataboy sila sa burol na tinatawag na Bunker Hill. Pauunlarin daw ang lugar bilang Civic Center ng Los Angeles ngunit sa totoo, ang nangyari ipinagbili ito ng City Redevelopment Area o CRA sa mga negosyanteng Hapones kaya naging “Little Tokyo” ito matapos ang 1960′s.

Muli, naitaboy ang mga Pilipino sa Temple-Beverly Corridor sa pagtatapos ng dekadang 60. Dahil idedevelop daw ang lugar na financial district ng Los Angeles, tulad ng dati, dahil muling tinamaan ng redeveloment ng financial district ang Bunker Hill noong unang bahagi ng 1960′s. Napatalsik na naman ang mga Pilipino sa lugar na tinawag nilang ‘Pilipinotown.”

Pilipinotown o PTown.

Ngunit sa panahong ito, marami nang prupesyunal na Pilipino ang dumating sa Amerika. Ito ay dahil sa Immigration Act of 1965. Palibhasa masipag at masikap, nakabili sila ng mga ari-arian sa lugar na ito. Hindi lamang mga bahay ang naipundar nila, kundi mga apartments, tindahan, eskwelahan at naging aktibo sila sa kounidad.

Sa katunayan noong 1968, naitayo ang gusali ng FACLA at ang simbahang Pilipino-ang St. Columban. Ang FACLA ay itinayo ng apat na manggagawang bukid na Pilipino noong 1945. At yumabong ito hanggang maitayo ang gusali ng FACLA noong 1968.

Tatak ito ng tatag at tayog ng pangarap at makabayang diwa ng mga Pilipino sa Los Angeles.

Ngunit hindi lahat ng landas sa tagumpay ay maaliwalas. Noon pa mang 1994, nais na ng mga Pilipino na makapagtayo ng Pilipinotown nila. Ngunit likas na malakas ang rehiyunalismo at ingatan nasa mga lider Pilipino ang kani-kanilang prestihiyo at pangalan, nag-away-away ang mga ito.

Limang grupo ang nais maging mayor sa pagkakadeklara ng Pilipinotown noong 1994. Sa kasamaang palad, nag-away sila sa harap ng mga opisyal ng gobyerno. Walang naidkelarang Pilipinotown dahil dito.

Sa Wakas, Historic Filipintown, 2002

Umabot pa ng higit sa walong taon bago muling nagkaisa ang mga Pilipino-Amerikano para maideklara na Historic Filipintown ang lugar na ito. Bakit Historic? Kompromiso ito upang walang pag-awayan ang mga grupong nais maging mayorsa lugar na ito.

Mapagpasya ang papel ng Pilipinotown Inc sa pagtutulak ng pagkakadeklara ng Historic Filipinotown. Katunayan ang yumaong Dr. Jay Valencia, ang unang mayor ng Pilipinotown Inc ang magiting na nagtulak ng konseptong ito hanggang ideklara ng City Council ang Historic Filipinotown noong 2002.

Nakahanda ang Pilipinotown Inc na ipagpatuloy ang tungkulin nitong itaguyod ang mga karapatan ng mga Pilipino-Amerikano sa lugar na ito at sa buong Los Angeles at saan man.

Tulad ng sinabi ni Carlos Bulosan; “Wala sa pangalan ang halaga ng isang bagay. Nasa puso ang Amerika.”

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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA LEADERS LAUDS, CRITICIZE OBAMA’S PLAN

New FACLA News
January 22, 2015

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA LEADERS LAUDS, CRITICIZE OBAMA’S PLAN

Los Angeles- Southern California’s Filipino American leaders in this week’s TALAKAYAN sa FACLA last Thursday, January 22, 2015 lauded as well as criticized US President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address and his plans for the next 2 years of his incumbency, 2015-16.

FACLA President Austin Baul Jr. said, “Obama’s plans are all motherhood statements that a usual person finds it hard to disagree with. Big plans but in reality hard to implement.”

Dr.Marc Caratao, TALAKAYAN moderator said,” but the usual problem is who will pay for it. Will be another tax burden for the citizens and the tax-payers like me?’

Tax The Rich or Cut the Benefits for the Poor?

TALAKAYAN moderator Arturo Garcia answered the question,” That is why President Obama’s proposal was to tax the rich. Meaning the so called “millionaire’s tax. That is those who made millions will pay for health, minimum wage hike and education with a 28% tax surcharge. That’s where the Democrats and GOP argue.

For the Republicans any tax increase for the rich is deplorable while on the other they will oppose any 28% tax for millionaires while cutting benefits for the poor. Two diametrically opposed views. We have nothing left but to contend with a “do-nothing congress until 2016.”

Journalist Larry Pelayo chimed in,” Everybody likes free community college education and health care. And it was nice to know that formerly community college education was free before the Reagan presidency.”

Philippine Issues,2015

Diverting from the domestic issues, Rudy Ferran brought out the issues on the PH Senate probe on the Binay’s hidden wealth as well as the latest PH Supreme Court decision on the Estrada’s disqualification case.

Drawing a reply from Jun Baul,” I am very skeptical on the PH Supreme Court decision on Estrada. It was very clear that in a contract that he signed that he will not seek any elective position when he was pardoned. Why did the Supreme Court did not disqualified him?”

Al Garcia pointed out, “It was not the fault of the Supreme Court, They just decided on the legality of the issue noting that when PGMA gave him an absolute pardon, that restored all his rights and privileges as a Filipino citizen including the right to run in any elective position.”

To which Dr. Agatep of FACLA added, ”that was the famed Aguinaldo doctrine of the Supreme Court in the 1990’s that restored him as an elected governor of Cagayan and later as a Congressman.”

For more information about TALAKAYAN sa FACLA please contact Clarita at (213) 484-1527 or visit our website at www. newfacla.org.

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Two Disparate Growths: USA and China

Komunidad
January 21,2015

Two Disparate Growths: USA and China

By Arturo P. Garcia

President Obama during his State of the Union Address Last January 20, 2015 never failed to allude to China’s economic growth and emergence as a world economic power in his own terms:

“Today, our businesses export more than ever, and exporters tend to pay their workers higher wages. But as we speak, China wants to write the rules for the world’s fastest-growing region. That would put our workers and businesses at a disadvantage. “

To some myopic western economic analysts “the economic growth of China in 2014 dropped to its lowest level since 1990 with the country just failing to reach the official annual growth target of 7.5 percent for the first time in 16 years.”

But for the Chinese economist, China’s growth is on target. Actually Chinese economist placed their target to a modest 5%. But the annual growth figures still outran the market expectations of about 7.2 percent.
According to them, the government economist m the success is because of their sound policy of” consumer drive consumption” than the former policy of “export” and “investments driven “ policy.
At the same time, the authorities are optimistic about the development of

China’s economy. The government says this level is enough to find jobs for the country’s enormous population.

“The economy maintains a steady growth in the ‘new normal’, with a positive trend of stable growth, structural optimization, the improvement of the quality of growth and social well-being”, said the Bureau’s spokesperson Ma Jiantang.

Western economists expect the slowdown of 2014 to result in an extended economic downturn. On Monday, the IMF forecast 6.8 percent growth for China in 2015, a number below the 7 percent target economists expect Beijing to set.

They say that the slowdown in China comes as the world economy shows vulnerability to regional economic changes. The eurozone risks plunging into a third recession in six years, and Abenomics ( named after Prime Minister Abe) has proved ineffective as Japan continues to remain in stagnation.

China’s economic slowdown is also triggered by domestic factors such as a drop in real estate prices, with a property sector accounting for 15 percent of GDP. Foreign economist point out to the empty building at Shenzen ” export processing zone” a former growth city which now an empty shell because of the real estate prices drop.

High total debt is a major drag on the expansion of China’s economy.The country’s overall borrowing is growing faster than the economy, with the debt to GDP ratio exceeding 250 percent. Falling energy prices, industrial overcapacity and a lack of demand can lead to the potential onset of a deflationary cycle.

China’s GDP growth at the end of 2014 was 7.4 percent, the country’s worst performance since the 3.8 percent growth in 1990, the year after the suppression of pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square followed by Western sanctions.

The country’s GDP reached $10.4 trillion (63.646 trillion yuan) and is the lowest since 1998, the National Bureau of Statistics reported Tuesday.
If these issues aren’t resolved in time, China could find itself in a similar situation to Japan, and this is a reason why Beijing may need to tie more money into the system.

However, some experts believe the slowdown that is happening amid global stagnation is a natural thing, as China’s has experienced rapid growth for more than three decades in a row.

But with what Obama was saying he is still wary of China’s growth. Despite his bluster that,

“Tonight, after a breakthrough year for America, our economy is growing and creating jobs at the fastest pace since 1999. Our unemployment rate is now lower than it was before the financial crisis. More of our kids are graduating than ever before; more of our people are insured than ever before; we are as free from the grip of foreign oil as we’ve been in almost 30 years.”

Thus his call is very sound and clear, “ Why would we let that happen? We should write those rules. We should level the playing field. That’s why I’m asking both parties to give me trade promotion authority to protect American workers, with strong new trade deals from Asia to Europe that aren’t just free, but fair.”

The reality is he is wary that the sleeping giant that in the east that is the People’s Republic of China has risen and the United States has to contend with it. By hook or by crook.

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Solidarity Memorial For Charlie Massacre Victims in Paris and Nerlita Ledesma of Bataan Held at FACLA, January 15, 2014

ALLIANCE NEWS
January 16, 2015

Solidarity Memorial For Charlie Massacre Victims in Paris and Nerlita Ledesma of Bataan Held at FACLA, January 15, 2014

Los Angeles—WE ARE ALL CHARLIE!

A solemn solidarity memorial to 12 French journalists Charlie Massacre Victims in Paris and Nerlita Ledesma of Bataan was held last night on January 15, 2015 at the Filipino American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA) Social Hall.

The event was sponsored by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines ( NUJP) USA Chapter, the Alliance-Philippines (AJLPP), The FilAm Press Club of California (FAPCCA) the Justice for Filipino American Veterans (JFAV) and Peoples’ CORE.

Committed FilAm journalists

The committed journalists and their community advocates held a solemn one hour memorial at FACLA for the12 French journalist of CHARLIE HEBDO killed in Paris,France a week ago.

The crowd of committed journalist led by Nimfa Rueda of NUJP-USA and Rhony Laygo of WEEKEND BALITA. Also present was Edith Fuentes of Glendale who is running as a council member at that city this April, 2015.

The group also honored the latest Filipino lady journalist,Nerita Ledesma of Bataan who was killed in Bataan just last week during the memorial service.

Those who read the solidarity statements from different organizations were Fe Koons of People’s CORE, Larry Pelayo, Nimfa Rueda of NUJP-USA and Lena Platt of the Le Ruoche group.

Rhony Laygo sung songs in honor of the slain French and Filipino journalists. Arturo Garcia acted as the emcee.

Candle Lighting Ceremonies

A candle lighting ceremonies led by Fe Koons, People’s CORE Board Member was held to honor all journalists who wee killed on their line of duty most especially the 34 journalist and all the victims of the Maguindanao Massacre of 2009.

The program ended by by singing militant hymns by the trio of Rhony Laygo, Art Garcia and Abner to honor our fallen comrades in the field of journalism.

For more information please contact Al Garcia at (213)241-0995 or email us agarcia@peoplescore.net

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JFAV, A Short Story

JFAV UPDATES
January 12, 2014

JFAV, A Short Story

The Justice For Filipino American Veterans( JFAV) was formed in December 16, 1998. It came into being after the division in the December 7 Movement (D7M), the first Filipino World War II Veterans organization that started the political struggle of the veterans for equity and justice that was formed in December 7, 1993.

The bone of contention was 1) equity or nothing, meaning demand the full payment of back wages (back pay during WWII) and full recognition ( meaning full payment of arrears or unpaid benefits from 1946 to the present that amount to $ 43B 2) incremental or piece by piece legislation that will culminate to full equity and total recognition as American veterans.

JFAV opted for the 2nd option and and cooperated with the lobby in the US Congress by conducting grass root lobbying in California where majority of the veterans are residing and living. By 1998 we were able to realize benefits like:

1) 75% of the SSI can be brought to the Philippines when the veterans comes home
2) burial benefits in US national cemeteries
3) 50 cents to a dollar for POWs. By 2000, California provided 25% of the benefits that made it for the California veterans to get 100% of their SSI and
4) by 2004, health access for veterans for DVA hospitals.

But all of those are only baby steps sans the full recognition as American veterans and benefits.In summary this was the right step at that time.

New Wave of Struggle

JFAV started lobbying in the US Congress when the paid lobbyist stopped lobbying work for the veterans in 2009. They declared when ARRA was passed. that “they have attained equity” and gave up on the lobby efforts saying that lump sum for Filipinos was already equity.

The problem with the ARRA law, while it recognized the Filipino WWI veterans as “American Veterans” partially so it can give them the one time benefit, out of the 43,000 who applied for lump sum, the DVA only granted 18,000 the lump sum. More than 52% ( or 25,000) were denied.

Adding insult to injury, the widows( more than 60,000) of them were excluded from the lump sum.
The JFAV declared other wise that ” lump sum is equity.” By 2010, JFAV filed a class suit against the DVA and against the lump sum until it reached the California Court of Appeals in 2013. In 2014, they CA denied the appeals thus JFAV filed a Certiorari in the US Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court denied the JFAV case not on its merits but on the question of technicality. But the JFAV will still pursue litigation against the DVA and the US Congress.

On the lobbying front at the US Congress, the JFAV filed the Filipino Veterans Recogniton ACt of 2011 and when it failed to get the a hearing on the Veterans Committee it filed again the same bill on 2013 this time a joint Senate and House Bill sponsored by Senator Brian Shatz 0f Hawaii and Rep. Jackie Speier(D-San Francisco)

Mass Actions

At the same time parallel to lobbying in US Congress and litigation, JFAV leads mass protest actions for the last 31 years when the veterans in the US started forming their organizations to struggle for equity and justice with the formation of the first veterans organization in LA, the United Filipino American Veterans(UFAV) against martial law and the US-Marcos Dictatorship as well this racial discrimination and injustice.

When JFAV was formed it re-started protest actions for equity and justice until it initiated the annual Veterans Day parade in Historic Filipinotown in 2000 and later the Protest March in DTLA starting 2009.
For the last three years we now hold protest rallies in Hollywood.JFAV has been lobbying the US Congress for the last 22 years.

But at the same time JFAV also is organizing and mobilizing as well as building chapters in states where there are Filipino Communities like Hawaii,California,New York, New Jersey, Washington, Virginia,Maryland. Nevada and Florida,

JFAV has formed widows and relatives associations like the AWARE and S4PACE and also are looking for the rights and welfare of this ageing senior population.

JFAV has started a feeding program and food distribution in FACLA in the city of Los Angeles as an example. This with the help of organizations like the Filipino Ministry of the Wilshire Methodist Church in cooperation with JFAV-LA.

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ALLIANCE CALLS ON GPH AND NDFP, RESUME FORMAL PEACE TALKS NOW

ALLIANCE NEWS
January 11, 2015

ALLIANCE CALLS ON GPH AND NDFP, RESUME FORMAL PEACE TALKS NOW

Los Angeles—The Alliance Philippines, based in the Filipino_American community in the United States, expresses optimism on the positive developments of the back door talks between the representatives Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

Alliance Philippines National Coordinator Arturo P. Garcia, called on both sides to resume the formal peace negotiations between them and work for the peaceful settlement of almost half a century of armed conflict in the Philippines.

Garcia also said, “the Alliance Philippines takes positive notes of the comments of Prof.. Jose Ma.Sison and the GPH Peace office led by Ms. Deles that peace negotiations may be possibly resume after the Philippine visit of Pope Francis in mid-January 2015.

More Confidence Building Measures Needed

On the other hand, the Alliance noted, “while the formal resumption of peace talks between the two sides augurs well for the cause of peace and prosperity in the country, we are still watchful on the outcome of the passage of the Bangsa Moro Basic Law now pending in Congress and the how the GRPH-MILF implement it until 2016.

We noticed that only one side is doing confidence building measures and that is the NDFP. It has released many of its prisoners of war taken during battles with the AFP in Mindanao.

But until today, the GPH is virtually doing nothing of any of the sort.. More than 20 NDF consultant are still being held by the GPH including the Wilma and Benito Tiamzon, CPP Chair and Secretary General concurrently are being continued held at the PNP Custodial Center at Camp Crame are not duly being released.

Human Rights Violations Continues.

Although the JASIG Agreement has been signed by the Philippine government, they continually refused to abide and implement it. More confidence building measures are needed not press releases and press conferences by publicity hungry GPH personalities.

Garcia added, “ On the other hand human rights violations like arrests and detention of NDFP consultants, killing of activists, brutal military operations and psyops/cmo operations by the AFP and the PNP against the toiling masses continue unabated.

But still we are hopeful that more than can be done with confidence building measures on both sides. Peace talks are not one-way streets. Let it be an avenue of confidence and goodwill.
We hope that this will not be another cosmetic negotiations as being done in the past and the blood of our people are being continually spilled in the battlegrounds in our land.” Garcia ended

GIVE PEACE A CHANCE!

THE TIME FOR PEACE IS NOW!

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For more information please call (213)241-0995 or email us at pilipinokami76@yahoo.com.

FILIPINO WWII VETERANS deserve the same benefits as other service members

THE WASHINGTON POST
January 9

Letter to the Editor

FILIPINO WWII VETERANS deserve the same benefits as other service members

The Jan. 4 front-page article “Final compensation” reflected the historical wrong and the grave injustice that the U.S. government has done to Filipino World War II veterans, who, for 69 years, have been fighting to attain the recognition, benefits and compensation given to other WWII veterans. The Rescission Act of 1946 disqualified certain Filipino fighters from the same benefits enjoyed by active members of the U.S. armed forces, singling out these veterans.

In February 2009, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act , which established the WWII Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation Fund, granting one-time, lump-sum payments to those who qualified. Acceptance of the payment constituted a release of any claim against the United States.

The compensation and a Senate bill that expired last month, on reunification of family members of the Filipino WWII veterans, are goodwill gestures by our government to redress this wrong.

The valor and sacrifice of Filipino WWII veterans helped us win the freedoms and the democracy that we all enjoy now. Thousands of these veterans are U.S. citizens, and it is discriminatory to limit their benefits compared with their counterparts.

Our government and the nation owe them fairness, equal treatment and justice. They truly deserve it.

Arnedo S. Valera, Fairfax

The writer is executive director of the Migrant Heritage Commission.