Greetings of international solidarity!
We in the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) write this letter to respond to the appeal of the Focus on the Global South entitled Assassination and violence have no role in civil society (a statement of concern).
It is our position NOT to interfere nor be part of the ongoing matter between Walden Bello and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
In respect of truth and fairness, we encourage the Focus staff to be critical and objective. Please do not allow yourselves to be USED by Bello’s blatant red-baiting and paranoia. He uses this lie for you to support him and to reinforce his baseless claim that he is on the CPP “hit list” (the term Walden Bello and Etta Rosales used in their December 26, 2004 open letter).
Let this letter serve as a warning to Focus staff and other organizations that Bello has a personal purpose for inventing such lies to draw attention to his false accusations against the CPP while attacking genuine people’s movement. This is his political and ideological offensive which serves his self-interest as a pro-US propagandist.
We were alarmed by Focus appeal because by mentioning KMP and many other organizations at the end of Focus statement in January 15, 2005 (see second to the last paragraph) they are endangering the lives of our leaders and members. There claims are NOT true but rather an intentional and malicious allegation which serves Mr. Bello’s selfish interest.
We condemn Bello for subjecting the KMP leaders, members and its whole organization to further state fascism and repression. The security of our leaders, members and the whole organization were maliciously put into grave danger.
Since KMPs establishment in July 1985, many of our leaders and members were brutally killed due to state fascism and terrorism.
Let us not forget the peasant martyrs who were victims of fascist attacks in our struggle for genuine land reform, national industrialization and genuine freedom and democracy. We were attacked because of our consistent struggle against feudalism, bureaucrat capitalism and imperialism. We have suffered hard enough in the Mendiola Massacre in January 22, 1987 that killed 13 farmers in Mendiola Bridge in Manila; the Lupao Massacre in February 10, 1987 that killed 17 farmers (for allegations that they were protecting the New Peoples Army- the revolutionary army of the Communist Party of the Philippines) in Nueva Ecija in Central Luzon;
The abduction and cold-blooded killings of Eddie Gumanoy (KMP National Council member and Chair of KASAMA-TK) with Eden Marcellana (Secretary General of KARAPATAN-Southern Tagalog) on April 21, 2003 by the Philippine Army’s 204th Brigade under the leadership of the then Colonel Jovito Palparan in April 22, 2003 in Oriental Mindoro in Southern Tagalog region for investigating reported abductions and summary executions of our members by elements of the 204th Brigade;
The massacre that killed 7 farm workers at the Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac (owned by the family of former President Corazon Cojuango-Aquino) on Nov. 16, 2004 and the murder of Marcelino Beltran, chairperson of the Alyansa ng Magbubukid ng Tarlac (AMT or Alliance of Peasants in Tarlac) and the vice-chairperson of Alyansa ng Magbubukid ng Gitnang Luzon (AMGL or Alliance of Peasants in Central Luzon) provincial and regional chapters of KMP who is also a key witness on the Hacienda Luisita massacre on December 8, 2004;
The rally in Daet, Camarines Norte (in Bicol region) on December 10, 2004 (to commemorate the 56th Anniversary of the International Human Rights) was met with violence when unidentified men (the perpetrators are members of the Military Intelligence Group) opened fire at the protesters, killing Edmundo Salcedo (member of KMP-Camarines Norte) wounding several persons and countless more.
These brutal killings, abductions, detentions and harassments are a product of mere allegations and fascist attacks brought about by the irresponsible tagging of the KMP along with its 15 regional and 60 provincial chapters nationwide perpetuated by the US puppet Macapagal-Arroyo government and its so-called war on terror (which Focus also maliciously indicated in their letter), as communist fronts. We strongly condemn Bello for doing that which could possibly heighten the attack against KMPs more than 1 million members.
Since our establishment, KMP has remained true to our genuine tradition and principle to defend peasant rights to land and livelihood. We continue to consolidate and defend our gains and victories while advancing the peasant struggle against class exploitation and national oppression.
KMP is guided by the rich lessons of our mass campaigns and struggles. We unite with all oppressed and exploited classes, and fights for the interests and aspirations of the entire Filipino people.
KMP also unites with the workers and other sectors of society in the Philippines and with respectable dignitaries such as Former Vice President Teofisto Guingona, former Senator Loren Legarda, House of Representatives Committee on Agrarian Reform, and other friendly legislators and local government officials and peasant advocates for the betterment of our society.
Our National Chairperson, Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano, is now in the 13th Congress as a genuine peasant representative from Anakpawis (Toiling Masses) Party List that emerged victoriously by ranking no. 5 in more than 200 Party List organizations that took part in the May 2004 national elections.
Anakpawis got 532,636 votes which secured two seats for the party list in the 13th Congress, namely Rafael Mariano and Crispin Beltran (Kilusang Mayo Uno’s Chairman Emeritus). Ka Paeng’s entrance into Congress is one way of advancing the peasants struggle for genuine land reform.
KMP strongly believes in the spirit of international solidarity and for that, we are actively working with other movements and organizations globally such as the La Via Campesina (an international peasant movement); People’s Global Action; Pesticide Action Network Asia Pacific (PAN-AP); International Alliance against Agrochemical TNCs (IAAATNCs), Bio-diversity in Action for Sustainable Agriculture in Asia (BASA-ASIA); International League of People’s Struggle (ILPS); Southeast and East Asia-International Planning Committee (IPC); Asian Peasant Coalition (APC); and other global formations.
With such international formations we respect and recognize the right and initiative of each member to decide their own form of struggle. But we are united in fighting our common enemies -- state fascism and repression; US intervention and globalization; and further continue to advance and strengthen the anti-imperialist struggle.
We denounce Walden Bello for interfering on KMPs independence as a legitimate and legal democratic movement in the Philippines; it is UNFAIR, MALICIOUS and SELF-SERVING. Bello does NOT have any right to label the KMP as such.
In the struggle against the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in the 1990s, Bello was NOT with the national democratic mass organizations. He continues to be a mouthpiece of US and its multilateral agencies like the IMF, World Bank and WTO.
Bello claims to have fought and frustrated the WTO in Cancun. This is once again an arrogant statement taking personal credit for the victory of the people’s movement. The more than 20 third world countries (including China, India and Brazil) that resisted the excessive US impositions will speak for that. The massive anti-war mass actions in 2003 by tens of millions of peoples in hundreds of cities, coordinated by ANSWER, Not in Our Name, United for Peace and International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS), among the others will prove for that.
Lastly, Bello’s move is along the line of the local ruling class, the puppet and fascist US-Macapagal-Arroyo regime and the U.S. imperialist. In finger-pointing and branding legitimate and democratic organizations and individuals in its terrorist list without basis, he is further strengthening the people’s enemies.
It only serves the interests of US imperialism’s so-called war on terror discrediting KMP, who gained local and international respect and prestige among its network organizations and individuals through consistency and honest struggle against feudal and semi-feudal exploitation and resisting imperialist globalization.
If you have any comment or question, please feel free to contact the KMP National Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org. We attached Walden Bello’s and Etta Rosales open letter as well as the Focus statement for your reference. You can also view the CPP diagram in the Ang Bayan December 7, 2004 issue at http://www.philippinerevolution.org and see for yourself if it is a hit list or not.
For the interest of the Peasants and Filipino people,