Filipinos in Europe Join Call for Foreign Poll Observers

Jan. 23, 2007

Filipinos in Europe, through Migrante, welcome the call in the Philippines to encourage independent foreign observers to monitor the mid-term elections this year.

Press Release
22 January 2007

Filipinos in Europe join call for intl observers, condemn Oplan Bantay Laya 2

MIGRANTE Europe welcomes the call of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (Peasant Movement of the Philippines/KMP) to encourage independent foreign observers to come to the Philippines during the election period to see and expose to the world what is happening to Philippine democracy.

MIGRANTE Europe, a network of patriotic Filipino organizations across Europe, was reacting to the statement of Danilo Ramos, secretary general of the KMP, in a news release dated Jan. 19, wherein Ramos revealed an AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) plan to destroy progressive party list groups and the political opposition. The new AFP plan, according to the KMP, is part of a new military strategy called OPLAN Bantay Laya 2 (Operation Plan Guard Freedom Part 2), that aims to destroy not only the armed revolutionary movement but also the legal democratic peoples movement and the anti-Arroyo political opposition.

Filipinos in Europe condemn in the strongest terms this new AFP strategy. Like previous measures to fight the armed guerrillas, the new measure would most likely continue the assassination of leaders of peoples organizations, militarize entire provinces and cities in the Philippines and kill innocent civilians and non-combatants, stressed Grace Punongbayan, spokesperson of MIGRANTE Europe.

Punongbayan said that President Gloria Arroyo and her AFP generals should be made accountable before the international community for committing grave war crimes and for violating the Geneva Conventions.

Migrant Filipinos who toil day and night overseas to be able to help their families survive in the Philippines do not allow Gloria Arroyo and her generals to use the remittances of overseas Filipinos to murder patriotic Filipinos back home and to undermine democracy for self-serving ends, Punongbayan further said.

MIGRANTE Europe called on other patriotic organizations of Filipinos in other parts of the world, friends of the Filipino people, and concerned individuals, to join the peoples movement in the Philippines in condemning this new AFP strategy. It also called on parliamentarians, academicians, media people, church groups, international human rights organizations and concerned citizens to heed the call of the KMP, and organize fact-finding missions and groups of foreign observers during the election period to see and expose to the world what is happening to Philippine democracy.

For reference:

Grace Punongbayan
Postbus 15687, 1001 ND Amsterdam

[tags]davao today, philippine politics, 2007 elections, migrante, oplan bantay laya, election violence, political killings, human rights[/tags]

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