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IBON response to Focus on the Global South

January 17, 2005

Dear Friends,

The appeal of Focus to civil society organizations to condemn the inclusion of Walden Bello by the Communist Party of the Philippines in a list of counterrevolutionaries, which Focus interprets as a ‘hit list’ or ‘death threat’, strikes us at IBON as rather regrettable. It is unfortunate that in the process of addressing its appeal to the global networks as well as the CPP, Focus has dragged along the names of Philippine organizations like IBON as associated with the CPP to have a ‘sense of decency’ to ‘denounce these actions and apply moral suasion…’ It is unfortunate and quite ironic since it has always been IBON’s policy to avoid involvement in the factional debate within the CPP and pretending to be in the know with finality the resolution of such debate, much more raise it as being an issue in the national and international movements.

What is even more deplorable is that, by this appeal, Focus has effectively toed the US-RP line of communist witch-hunting that is happening in the current military campaign, and which has served to attack legitimate institutions and people’s organizations. We call upon Focus to desist from falling in the same imperialist trap of sowing the anti-communist hysteria and in the process dividing and weakening civil society.

For his security, we urge Walden Bello and Focus to desist from being used by the Tabara and Lopez factions, which are also armed, in their political counter attack in the light of their fight with the CPP. While a public clarification has already been made by Jose Ma. Sison that no such hit list exists or be inferred from the CPP’s Ang Bayan article, we believe that Walden Bello in pursuing what he has to settle with the CPP does not need to involve the international movement in appealing to the CPP and its associates, unless the real intention is to engage in the same political counter attack.

We hope that Focus as an international organization and Walden Bello as an international activist can clarify based on public record that there is no such effort of making the Tabara faction and other armed factions prosper in their political ends at the expense of the solidarity of the international movement.

In solidarity,

Rosario Bella Guzman
Executive Director

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