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GABRIELA Network Statement Re. Attacks on Prof. Jose Maria Sison, ILPS Chairman
1 February 2005

GABRIELA Network, a Philippine-US women’s solidarity mass organization, views with sadness the continuing attacks on and vilification of Professor Jose Ma. Sison, chairman of the International League of Peoples Struggles.

Such attacks and vilification fit a pattern created by colonialism and imperialism, and imposed upon the people of the Philippines to deprive them of the right to determine who correctly serves their national interests and who establishes genuine standards for patriotism and dedication to the advancement of the people’s interests.

Throughout Philippine history, heroes and heroines of the Filipino people’s just struggle for independence and freedom have been vilified and persecuted, if not murdered, by invaders, colonizers and imperialists. Local collaborators have been used by colonizers and imperialists to besmirch the reputation of the people’s heroes and heroines, and to justify the latter’s assassination. Gabriela Silang was hanged as a witch because she led a revolt against Spanish colonial authorities in the 17th century. Andres Bonifacio, founder of the Katipunan, was vilified, humiliated and eventually murdered by a collaborationist faction in the 1896 Philippine revolution – a faction which surrendered to the invading US occupation forces. The revolutionary general Macario Sakay was betrayed by a collaborator and hanged as a bandit by the US occupation authority.

Colonialism and neo-colonialism have tried to instill and reinforce this vile lesson: betrayal of the people’s movement and collaboration with foreign interests are rewarded; perseverance in the struggle for national liberation and democracy is persecuted. Now in the 21st century, US imperialism seeks to reinforce this lesson, in an effort to befoul the spirit and soul of the Filipino people.

The attacks on and vilification of Prof. Jose Ma. Sison are misdirection and disinformation. These times of imperialist war, militarism and occupation call for strong voices to condemn the re-occupation of the Philippines by the US military; to condemn the murder of striking peasants at Hacienda Luisita; to condemn the murder of human rights advocates in Bicol Province; to condemn the murder of 48 BAYAN Muna campaigners; and for anguished voices to condemn the murder of eleven women connected with GABRIELA Philippines.

Instead of attacks on Prof. Jose Ma. Sison, these times call for strong protests against the continuing export of Filipinas (650,000 in 2004) to 300 countries where they are exploited, many abused mentally and physically, and killed; for strong protests against the erosion of protection – like the Philippine Mining Act -- for the Philippines’ resources and environment; for strong protests against the continued denial of justice and compensation to the 10,000 victims of human rights violations under the Marcos dictatorship; for strong protests against the smuggling of Filipino men and women by Kuwaiti subcontractors into the Iraq war arena to serve Halliburton and the US military.

The attacks on Professor Sison appear to be headed by those who themselves benefited from the Philippine revolutionary movement, building their reputations on the achievements of the masses and using the knowledge they garnered against the very movement which had given them skills and insight they now use to advance their personal ambitions.

No betrayal can be more painful or as shameful. ###

A Philippine-US Women's Solidarity Mass Organization
PO Box 403, Times Square Station
New York, New York 10036
Tel: 1212.592.3507
Fax: 1651.321.1845

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