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Sunday, March 22, 2009

US OUT OF IRAQ, THE PHILIPPINES AND EVERYWHERE!

As the invasion of Iraq enters its seventh year, the Alliance for a Just and Lasting Peace in the Philippines (Alliance Philippines) continues to express militant greetings and solidarity to the people of Iraq, Philippines and everywhere who are fighting US imperialism and its forces of occupation. We stand with the people marching in the streets of Washington, DC today in the united cry “From Iraq to Afghanistan to Philippines and Palestine, OCCUPATION IS A CRIME!”
The US thirst for war must end. The current administration is not ending the US wars of aggression, but is transferring the war to other countries like Afghanistan. We are reminded how Nixon said he wanted to end the unpopular war in Vietnam but escalated the war in Cambodia and Laos. By redeploying 30,000 or more troops to Afghanistan, threatening Iran, Pakistan and the Russian Federation, Obama is not proving to be much different from his predecessors.

People are losing their homes and jobs at a rate unabated by trillions of dollars of bank bailouts. But the continued military spending will ensure continued profit for military contractors. These endless wars were never about freedom for the Iraqi people, and they’re not an issue of national defense in Afghanistan. We exposed these lies under Bush. We will continue to expose them under Obama.

We demand US troops out of the Philippines. In the Philippines, 4,000 US troops are conducting war exercises, supporting the US-backed Arroyo regime’s wars against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the New People’s Army (NPA). The human rights violations of progressives throughout the Philippine archipelago, and the suffering of millions because of the war in Mindanao, bear the same bloody stamp of US imperialism that has been imposed upon Iraq, Palestine and now Afghanistan.

We are appalled at Obama's phone call to Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo supporting the joint military agreement between the US and Philippines. We are equally appalled by the scheme to change the Philippine constitution to continue the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). The Filipino people have nothing to gain from these agreements. They trample on our dignity and sovereignty.

The Arroyo regime’s failure to support Nicole in her fight for justice against convicted rapist US Lance Corporal Daniel Smith, is a sickening example of how shamelessly Arroyo will sell out the Filipino people—especially women—to the US puppetmasters. It denies grave cases of trafficking of Filipinas to the US. And diplomats like former UN Ambassador to the Philippines Lauro Baja lead in oppressing and exploiting domestic workers like Marichu Baoanan in New York.

The war at home on immigrants, women and workers must end. In the US, millions of people displaced from their homelands because of US occupation suffer here on US soil. They contend with lack of immigration status, lack of workers’ protections and healthcare, deportations and detentions, and now job loss. They are on the frontlines of the war on the poor at home. This war has only intensified because of the economic crisis.

As we echo the call of the past six years to bring the troops home, we continue the struggle for the remaining 46,000 Filipino World War II veterans. The denial of their veteran’s equity exposes the ugly reality of racism as a necessary counterpart to war. It is always the poor and Third World people—on their own soil and as immigrants—who lose their lives and livelihoods.

We demand that the money for war and occupation—topping $1 trillion next year—be spent for workers, youth, women and immigrants. We demand an end to the cuts in public needs like healthcare and education. We demand an end to the trampling of women’s rights and the sale of women’s bodies. We demand legalization and full workers’ rights for more than 1.3 million undocumented Filipino migrants, especially women domestic workers.

In solidarity we join the US and the worldwide action today in Washington, DC and add our collective voice to the call:

US OUT OF IRAQ, THE PHILIPPINES & EVERYWHERE!

MONEY FOR WORKERS' RIGHTS & COMPENSATION, NOT FOR WAR & OCCUPATION!

SOLIDARITY WITH THE WOMEN OF IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN, PALESTINE & PHILIPPINES!

WAR KILLS THE FILIPINO & WORKING CLASS YOUTH!

MONEY FOR THE FILIPINO VETERANS, NOT FOR THE WAR!

STOP THE WAR IN MINDANAO!
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Fugitive likely to be disguised

A man accused of kidnapping who escaped court custody by pretending to be another prisoner remains on the run and detectives believe he may have changed his appearance.

Ollies Siaea, 31, pretended he was someone else and signed the other man's bail bond, walking free from the Manukau District Court soon after being remanded in custody on Friday.

An hour earlier, Siaea had appeared in court charged with kidnapping a 24-year-old Cambodian national last Wednesday.

Police have since charged the prisoner Siaea impersonated for aiding him in his escape.

While investigating Siaea's whereabouts, police also charged another associate on an "unrelated matter".

Detective Senior Sergeant Pete Jones said police followed up on some unconfirmed sightings of Siaea during the weekend but their inquiries had not found him by last night.

He asked the public to bear in mind that Siaea might appear different from the photos police have released of him.

"It's highly probable that he will have changed his appearance.
We'd obviously ask that people try to picture him maybe having cut off his hair or [with] a shaved head, or shaved face."

Asked if Siaea posed a danger to the public, Mr Jones said there was no specific threat.

"At this stage our concerns primarily are for the safety of our initial victim - the victim of the kidnapping. But of course [with] somebody who's going to lengths to evade police, we always have to be concerned that there will be a potential danger to the wider community as well."

The kidnap victim is in police protection.

Mr Jones reiterated earlier warnings that anyone found helping Siaea could face charges.

"We're asking people to help us to locate him and obviously if they're going to go the other way and assist him to evade us, they have to be aware of the consequences."

Mr Jones asked anyone with information to call police, adding that any information would be treated with discretion.

"The sooner we get people who are prepared to go out and kidnap other people back in front of the courts, the better."

* Anyone with information on Siaea's whereabouts is asked to contact police on (09) 259 0600.
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Another marker for Cambodian border

AN GIANG — Construction of a border marker at the Vinh Xuong international border gate between Tan Chau District of Viet Nam’s southern An Giang Province and Cambodia’s Kandal Province began yesterday.

The 241st border marker will be one of two grand border structures among the total 46 running along the 100km frontier between Viet Nam’s An Giang Province and Cambodia’s Takeo and Kandal provinces.

The demarcation and construction of the border markers that the two countries have agreed upon will contribute significantly to the complete physical establishment of a borderline that marks the peaceful, friendly relations the two countries have shared.

The work, jointly carried out by border marker building team 4 of Cambodia and team 9 of Viet Nam, is expected to support the social and economic development of both countries, particularly in the three border provinces. — VNS
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