October 1, 2008
One hundred groups call for US troops’ withdrawal from Mindanao
October 1 – As Congress investigates US military presence and actions in the Philippines, over one hundred organizations have come together to demand the “immediate withdrawal” of US military forces from Mindanao in the southern Philippines.
Saying that the US’ involvement in the war “can no longer be denied,” the groups said in a common statement that the US “further contributes to escalating and exacerbating the violence and insecurity in Mindanao, drawing parties towards all-out war, away from a just and peaceful resolution.”
Among the signatories were youth, students’, workers’, womens’, farmers’, artists’ and professional groups – including Christian and Muslim organizations. There were non-government organizations, human rights, relief and humanitarian groups, political parties, social movements, as well as networks and coalitions which bring together dozens of grassroots organizations coming from Mindanao but also beyond.
Disputing official explanations as untenable, the groups said: “In joining Filipino troops in their operations, providing them information, locating bombs, rescuing casualties, or giving technical assistance, the US military is clearly involved in actual combat in the Philippines. In stationing troops and equipment in various military facilities in the south, the US has established permanent basing in the country.”
To resolve the conflict in Mindanao, the groups call for an agreement “that would genuinely advance the Moro’s and the indigenous people’s right to self-determination — as they themselves define it, free from others’ imposition and intervention.”#
Reference: Atty Cora Fabros +639178871153 firstname.lastname@example.org
US Troops Out of Mindanao; Genuine Self-Determination for Moros Now
The United States’ involvement in the war in Mindanao can no longer be denied. Several times in the last month, at the height of Philippine military offensives against Moro fighters, US soldiers were repeatedly seen with Filipino troops, helping recover bombs, evacuating casualties, or joining Filipino troops in Philippine military camps throughout Mindanao. The Philippine military itself categorically confirmed that the US military has been providing it with “technical assistance” in pursuit of Moro rebels.
All these continue a pattern of reports that have accumulated in the last few years: Just in February, a Filipino general confirmed that it was the crew of a US spy plane that provided the intelligence which resulted in an operation in which eight civilians, including a pregnant woman and two children, were killed in Maimbung, Sulu.
The latest revelations that the US has been expanding its military structures in Zamboanga City not only confirm what we have been warning against; they heighten our concern that the US intends to stay in the Philippines for the long-haul.
In joining Filipino troops in their operations, providing them information, locating bombs, rescuing casualties, or giving technical assistance, the US military is clearly involved in actual combat in the Philippines. In stationing troops and equipment in various military facilities in the south, the US has established permanent basing in the country.
Not only is this patently unconstitutional, it also further contributes to escalating and exacerbating the violence and insecurity in Mindanao, drawing parties towards all-out war, away from a just and peaceful resolution.
We therefore demand that US troops immediately withdraw from all of Mindanao and that no US troops be involved in any operations.
We likewise demand that the Philippine military desists from further military offensives, that it immediately pulls out its troops from the region, and that it returns to the negotiating table.
We oppose the arming of civilians by the Philippine government and demand the immediate disbandment of militias and private armies.
We denounce the targeting and killing of innocent civilians by any side and we demand justice and reparations for all those who have been killed, displaced, and affected by the war.
To address the root causes of the war, we support an agreement that would genuinely advance the Moro’s and the indigenous people’s right to self-determination — as they themselves define it, free from others’ imposition and intervention. This entails recognizing and respecting the Bangsamoro people’s right to self-rule.
In any agreement, the indigenous peoples’ rights must at all times be assured and protected through specific provisions and measures. While we call for the indigenous people’s rights not to be subsumed under those of the Bangsamoro, we oppose efforts to set one oppressed people against another and we refuse to allow one oppressed peoples’ rights to be used to deprive another people of theirs.
Narrow vested interests of local and foreign powers should not be allowed to stand in the way of guaranteeing the universal right to self-determination. For it is only by advancing the right to self- determination of the Bangsamoro and the indigenous peoples that lasting peace and justice can be achieved.#
STOP THE WAR! COALITION- PHILIPPINES
1 October 2008
AKBAYAN! Citizens’ Action Party
Alab Katipunan (AK)
Alliance of Genuine Labor Organizations (AGLO)
Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL)
Alyansa ng Nagkakaisang Lakas ng Kabataan (ALYANSA)
Alyansa ng Sambayanan para sa Agarang Reporma (ASAP)
Anak Mindanao (AMIN)
Bagong Kamalayan Collective, Inc (BKCI)
Balay Rehabilitation Center Inc.
Bangsamoro People’s Solidarity
Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP)
Coalition Against Trafficking of Women Asia Pacific (CATW-AP)
Community Organizing and Rural Development, Inc. (Billah Islam)
Filipino Democratic Movement (FILDEM)
FOCUS on the Global South
Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC)
Gathering for Peace (GfP)
GZO Peace Institute
Institute for Popular Democracy (IPD)
International South Group Network (ISGN)
Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Commission-AMRSP
K! Kalayaan NCR-BLC
Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KPD)
Kongreso ng Mamamayan Para sa Kalayaan (KOMPAK)
Laban ng Masa (LnM)
League of Urban Poor for Action (LUPA)
Liga Manggagawa (LM)
Lolas Kampanyera WW II Filipina “Comfort Women” Survivors of Japanese
Military Sexual Slavery
Manggagawa para sa Kalayaan ng Bayan (MAKABAYAN)
Mindanao Peoples’ Peace Movement (MPPM)
Moro Human Rights Center
Movement for the Advancement of Student Power (MASP)
Pagkakaisa ng Kababaihan para sa Inang Bayan (KAISA-KA)
Pambansang Kaisahan ng Magbubukid sa Pilipinas (PKMP)
Pambansang Katipunan ng Makabayang Magbubukid (PKMM)
Pambansang Katipunan ng mga Samahan sa Kanayunan (PKSK)
Partido Manggagawa (PM)
Peace Women Partners
People’s Task Force for Bases Clean UP Philippines
Philippine Peace and Security Council (PPSC)
Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM)
Pinay Kilos! (PINK!)
Progresibong Alyansa ng Mangingisda (PANGISDA)
Progressive Organization of Worker Advocates (PRO-WORKER)
Resource Center for People’s Development (RCPD)
Samahan ng Demokratikong Kabataan (SDK)
Solidarity of Unions and Labor Organizations for a New Government
Strategic Initiatives of Pinoys Abroad – Bangkok (SIPA)
Student Council Alliance of the Philippines (SCAP)
Task Force Food Sovereignty (TFFS)
Task Force Subic Rape (TFSR)
Third World Movement Against the Exploitation of Women (TW-MAE-W)
Tulung Lupah Sug, Inc.,
UP Alyansa ng mga Mag-aaral para sa Panlipunang Katwiran at Kaunlaran
Women and Gender Commission AMRSP
Women and Gender Institute (WAGI)
Women’s Legal Bureau, Inc (WLB)
YES to Change
Young Moro Professionals Network (YMPN)
Youth for Nationalism and Democracy (YND)
ENDORSED BY (as of 1 October 2008):
Alyansa ng Kabataang Mindanao para sa Kapayapaan (AKMK)
Action and Solidarity for the Empowerment of Teachers (ASSERT)
BUKLOD Women’s Center
Bukluran ng Progresibong Magbubukid sa Pilipinas (BPMP)
Institute of Political Studies
Kalipunan ng Maliliit na Magniniyog ng Pilipinas (KAMMPIL)
Lanao Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (LAHRA)
Manilenyo Kontra Abuso (MKA)
Metro Subic Network
Mindanao Peoples’ Caucus
Mindanao Tri-People Women Forum
Mindanao Tri-People Youth Center (MTPYC)
Philippine Women’s Network on Peace and Security (PWNPS)
Ranaw Disaster Response & Rehabilitation Assistance Center (RDRRAC),
Sumpay Mindanao, Inc. (SMI)
Sustainable Alternatives for the Advancement of Mindanao (SALAM, Inc.)
Tulung Lupah Sug, Inc.
Union of Filipino Socialists (BISIG)
Welga ng Kababaihan
Concepcion Asis, independent political consultant
Fr. Archie Casey SX
Warina Sushil Jukuy
Helen N. Mendoza, SOLJUSPAX
Reena B. Marcelo, 3RG-Phils
Sister Arnold Maria Noel,SSpS
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