Continue the fight for justice and peace in the Philippines!

Support the Filipino people's just resistance against the US-backed Arroyo regime!

(Statement on the first anniversary of the Permanent People's Tribunal Second Session on the Philippines)

Translated to Esperanto

From March 21-25 last year, a very significant event was held in The Hague, The Netherlands. The independent and prestigious Rome-based Permanent People's Tribunal convened a second session on the Philippines. The first session on the Philippines was held in 1980 in Antwerp, Belgium, and tried and found guilty the US-backed Marcos dictatorship for crimes against the Filipino and Bangsa Moro peoples.

This time around, the PPT second session on the Philippines composed of seven prominent jurors, examined the charges filed by people's and human rights organizations in the Philippines, and tried and found guilty both the Arroyo and Bush governments for the “violations of the rights of the Filipino people” that qualify as “crimes against humanity”.

The significance of the PPT second session on the Philippines is that it highlighted not only the repression being committed against the Filipino people, but also the people's perseverance to continue their just resistance and steel determination to achieve genuine national freedom, democracy, justice and peace for the Philippines.

Filipinos both in the Philippines and abroad have keenly followed the proceedings of the PPT second session on the Philippines and celebrate the verdict as a further vindication and boost to their just resistance and patriotism.

Indeed, during the reading of the verdict in The Hague, the putative seat of international law, an unprecedented number of Filipinos who represent the more than 8 million forcibly driven out of the Philippines to seek sanctuary and employment abroad because of the political and economic crises, were present, and welcomed the guilty verdict with thunderous applause.

Put in a historical context, the victory of the Filipino people in the PPT has become part of the string of victories achieved since the resistance against Spanish colonialism that culminated in the 1896 Philippine Revolution and continues until today as ordinary Filipinos march on the streets in Manila or in many major cities overseas to shout “oust” to the Philippine puppet regime and its foreign master puppeteer.

Significant to point out also is the fact that the just resistance of the Filipino people has drawn the solidarity of many other peoples around the world, including the Dutch people. This solidarity reflects the deep respect and admiration achieved by the long and arduous struggle of the Filipino people that has also become an inspiration for other peoples engaged in national and social liberation.

Yet, despite the justness of the resistance and the strength of the solidarity, several European governments, including the Dutch government, have aided and abetted the criminal regime in the Philippines. The Dutch government in particular has publicly stated that their business interests in the Philippines exploiting and plundering the human and natural resources of the country are more important than respecting and upholding the human rights of Filipinos. Behaving like an obedient subject of the United States, the Dutch government has continued to persecute Filipino progressives living in the Netherlands, has confiscated all materials related to the PPT second session on the Philippines and has continued to refuse to release these materials, with the strong possibility that these could have been eventually passed on to the criminal regime in the Philippines.

The PPT jurors have denounced this brazen act by the Dutch government as “shameless”, while many Dutch groups and individuals have described the harassment of Filipino progressives living in the Netherlands as simple political persecution, and goes against the libertarian and humanitarian traditions that the Dutch people have been used to be known for.

As we celebrate the first anniversary of the historic verdict of the PPT second session on the Philippines - declaring the Arroyo and Bush governments guilty of crimes against humanity - we call on the friends of the Filipino people to firm up their solidarity with our just resistance and struggle.

As conclusion, we deem it not only appropriate but politically urgent to quote the last paragraph of the verdict of the PPT second session on the Philippines:

“As jurors of the Permanent People's Tribunal and as part of the larger human family, we recognize that the dramatic and worsening human rights situation in the Philippines is the responsibility for us all, and not just for those who struggle for their rights in that country. We commit ourselves to strengthen our efforts to defeat those powers, which, under the pretext of the so-called “war on terrorism” and under the mantle of “market-and-profit-driven globalization”, deprive the marginalized peoples of a life in justice, dignity and peace.”

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

24 March 2008