Friday, August 10, 2007

Philippine Government obstructs Filipina American Professor's scheduled return home to the US

August 10, 2007
Contact: Chito Quijano, Chair, BAYAN USA

Philippine Government obstructs Filipina American Professor's scheduled return home to the US, US Government intensifies domestic spying.
Los Angeles, CA – BAYAN-USA, an alliance of progressive Filipino groups across the US, is outraged at the recent holding of Annalisa Enrile, Associate Professor at the University of Southern California and national Chairperson of Gabriela Network USA. Professor Enrile was stopped at the airport and prevented from returning home to California on August 5, 2007. She is a US citizen and is speculated to have been held, because of her involvement with Gabriela Network, a Philippine-US women's solidarity organization based in the US .

"It is coincidental that the Philippine government stopped Professor Enrile's return-flight to the US the same day Bush signed the "Protect America Act of 2007," but it is no coincidence that both Bush and GMA are intent on eradicating what few civil rights we have left" said Chito Quijano, Chair of BAYAN USA.

According to Quijano, "In attempts to silence their critics, Bush and GMA are rushing to repress and criminalize those who speak out. We must be more vigilant and fight for our basic rights or these illegitimate regimes will continue to pull the human and civil rights rugs out from under us."
Initial reports indicate that Professor Enrile was on a "watch-list" developed by the US-backed Arroyo administration to hinder international participation in protests against the ASEAN Summit hosted in the Philippines in January 2007. The Philippine government had assured the international community that the "watch-list" would be lifted following the ASEAN Summit. And despite escalating pressure from the international bodies such as the United Nations and Amnesty International, and the guilty verdict of the Second Permanent People's Tribunal in March to stop the killings and other human rights violations, the US-Arroyo clique fast-tracked the implementation of the Anti-Terror Law, or Human Security Act to begin on July 15, 2007.

The US-authored Human Security Act establishes a dangerously broad definition of terrorism, legalizes warrant-less arrests and wire-tapping, and criminalizes the actions of mass organizations exercising their democratic rights to protest the US-Arroyo clique's acts of state terror. US-based organizations of BAYAN-USA are additionally concerned by the "Protect America Act of 2007" signed by Bush on August 5, 2007. The act amends the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 to allow domestic spying, wire-tapping of any foreign calls coming into the US and forcing all telephone companies to submit data to the federal government. Like the Human Security Act, this "Protect America Act" is dangerously broad; no requirement of a connection to terrorism is necessary to justify this invasion of privacy and erosion of civil liberties. It also is a move to legalize the illegal surveillance already being done by the Bush administration.

Member organizations of BAYAN-USA, are united in the defense of Prof. Enrile's international right to travel and return home to the USA. BAYAN-USA condemns all attacks against human and civil rights now legalized by the Human Security Act and the Protect America Act of 2007. "All people, especially those in the US, must counter these attacks against our human rights. We are inviting all people to save the date and join us on the upcoming international day of action on September 21, 2007 the anniversary of Martial Law."

'Never Again to Martial Law!'

Stop the Killings in the Philippines!

Repeal the Human Security Act!

Stop US Military Aid to Philippine Death Squads.

BAYAN-USA is an alliance of progressive Filipino groups in the U.S. representing organizations of students, scholars, women, workers, and youth. As the only international chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN-Philippines), BAYAN-USA serves as an information bureau for the national democratic movement of the Philippines and as a campaign center for anti-imperialist Filipinos in the U.S.