FilAms say continued U.S. presence adds to human rights violations

By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Mar. 17, 2014

LOS ANGELES – Though they never met him personally, Filipino-American activists rallied and remembered a Filipino activist and his family in Abra province.

Activists claimed that Anakbayan member Freddie Ligiw, his father and brother were murdered by the Philippine military.

The three were found in a shallow grave last week near their home in Abra province.

“I think it really struck a cord with the Filipino youth organizations in the United States to hear that a fellow Anakbayan member was killed in the Philippines but we also see it as not an isolated incident,” Theresa Jaranilla, coordinator of Bayan USA, said.

These activists said that 169 political killings have happened under the Aquino administration. They said many of the alleged extrajudicial killings are funded by continued U.S. financial support and military ties.

The killings come as the Philippines and U.S. military are holding their annual war games.

“There have been multiple discussions around increasing aid there, increasing the number of troops there so I don’t think it is a coincidence at all that we’re seeing this increase in killings and human rights violations under President Benigno Aquino III. So it’s something that our community really needs to pay attention to, especially us here in the United States,” she said.

This latest killing also comes as President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit the Philippines in April.

Activists hope the issue of human rights violations can be addressed by the President.

“It would be good if he did bring that up. But we know when Obama comes he’s really going to go there to uphold America’s own economic interests and political interests. We know they’re really just going to be continuing on with the same old story,” Romeo
Hebron, chairman of Anakbayan LA, said.

Activists said the U.S. has given the Philippines about half a billion dollars in military aid since 2002, money they said can be better spent on local social services.

You may contact Steve Angeles at for more information.

2 Comments on this post.

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  • cat_idiot
    18 March 2014 at 6:43 am - Reply

    itong si BS Aquino kung kani-kanino tayo ibinebenta……

  • Kuya
    18 March 2014 at 10:30 am - Reply

    Tell your HR leader to stop the HR violations committed by Chinese to our fisherman in West Philippine Sea….