Malaya Movement Condemns Duterte’s Drift Towards Dictatorship, Calls for Day of Action for Human Rights and Democracy in the Philippines

On the heels of the ouster of the Philippine Supreme Court’s Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on May 11, MALAYA: US Movement Against Killings and Dictatorship and for Democracy in the Philippines (“MALAYA Movement”) condemns President Rodrigo Duterte’s “further drift into dictatorship.” Just days before the one year anniversary of President Duterte’s imposition of martial law on Mindanao, Sereno’s ouster was done through a petition for quo warranto, a move widely viewed as both illegal and a politically motivated attempt to silence opposition to the President.

“The Philippine Constitution provides that all impeachable officials can only be removed by Impeachment. The eight Associate Justices dismissed Chief Justice  Sereno by exercising a power which does not belong to them. Since only the Congress of the Philippines can remove the CJ through impeachment, the eight Justices dismissed Sereno through Quo Warranto in violation of the Constitution,” stated National Co-Lead Convener of Malaya, Dante Simbulan, Ph.D., a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy (1952) turned activist during the Marcos dictatorship. “Also, the circumstances surrounding the dismissal indicate that the action was really taken upon the intervention of President Rodrigo Duterte on the eight Justices. Duterte admitted that he wanted CJ Sereno out of the Supreme Court. It is also reported that the eight members who unconstitutionally dismissed Sereno had an ‘axe to grind’ against her,” said Simbulan.

The ouster of Maria Lourdes Sereno as Supreme Court Chief Justice has eroded the remaining checks and balances in government, with Duterte now having control of the executive, legislative and judicial branches. In response, MALAYA Movement has issued a call for a national day of action on May 23, as Duterte’s martial law in Mindanao marks its first year in effect. MALAYA Movement calls on Filipinos across the United States and all people who oppose the dictatorial moves of Duterte to express their protest at the Philippine Embassy and consulates across the United States.

MALAYA is a U.S. based movement against the killings and dictatorship in the Philippines and has members across the United States. It aims to advance the cause of freedom and democracy in the Philippines. For more information and to become a member, visit and sign the MALAYA petition.




May 23 marks the 1st anniversary of martial law in Mindanao, Philippines under the Duterte administration. Despite declaring that alleged ISIS rebels were contained in the city of Marawi last October 2017, the government has extended military rule until the end of 2018. Martial law has worsened the human rights situation in Mindanao, displacing almost half a million people and emboldening state forces to drop bombs and harass Muslim and indigenous communities. We call for the immediate lifting of martial law in Mindanao!

Jerome Aba, a Muslim activist from the Philippines invited by the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines  US Malaya Movementand  church leaders across the US to speak on the human rights crisis in Mindanao, was denied entry in the San Francisco International airport last April 17thFor 28 hours, he was not given access to a lawyer and was physically and psychologically tortured, before being deported back to the Philippines. We call for justice for Jerome!

Furthermore, the recent ouster of Maria Lourdes Sereno as Supreme Court Chief Justice has eroded the remaining checks and balances in government, with Duterte having control of the legislative and judicial branches. We condemn this authoritarian move of the government. We say no to dictatorship and yes to democracy!

What You Can Do:

  1. Join local activities!

  2. Call your Philippine Consulate and the Philippine Embassy!

  3. Change your profile picture and share this image on social media! Tag Malaya Movement and use our hashtags #LiftMartialLaw and #Justice4Jerome.

March for Human Rights and Democracy in the Philippines

Friends and Allies,

We invite you to join us in on the March for Human Rights and Democracy in the Philippines. This march aims to register our opposition to and rejection of the brutal Duterte administration and our affirmation of human rights and democracy in the Philippines.

The march and rally aims to unite everyone to challenge ongoing “War on Drugs” that have already claimed the lives of an estimated 20,000 people, which in reality is a war on the poor; the continuing attacks against human rights defenders, church people, the press, women, indigenous peoples, trade unionists and peasants; Duterte’s outright sell-out of Philippine sovereignty to foreign powers; and his dictatorial ambitions.

The march and rally will be happening at the 120th Philippine Independence Day Parade on June 3, 2018, Sunday, at 10:30am in New York City where thousand of people from across the tri-state are expected to attend. This is the most opportune time to show that there is an organized and growing opposition from the overseas Filipino community, as well as from the international community.  

  • What: Rally and March for Democracy in the Philippines
  • When: June 3, 2018 Sunday
  • Where: 38th Street Between Madison Ave and Park Ave.

The theme of the march and rally “March for Human Rights and Democracy in the Philippines. We will use this action to unite various communities who are concerned about the following, but not limited to:

  • The continuing War on Drugs that have claimed the lives of more than 20,000 people without due process
  • The attacks on democracy and its institutions, including the attacks on judicial independence with the ouster of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, the attacks on the Commission on Human Rights, and others
  • The attacks on human rights defenders and activists, with the labelling of over 600+ individuals as “terrorists”, including a UN Special Rapporteur, Ms. Vicky Tauli-Corpuz
  • The sellout of Philippine sovereignty, with Duterte silent on both China’s occupation of our territories in the West Philippines Sea and the continuing Balikatan military exercises with the United States
  • The continuing rampant corruption that continues to impoverish our people
  • The dictatorial ambitions of Duterte, by changing the constitution with term extensions, extension and expansion of Martial Law in Mindanao or through a Revolutionary Government”

If you are interested in joining us and mobilizing your members to participate in the June 3rd March for Human Rights and Democracy in the Philippines, please sign up as an endorsing organization here:

After signing up we’ll follow up with you directly to discuss your organizations participation. In the meantime, here’s a Facebook event to join and share with your friends and networks: 

Join our social media campaign and build visibility for the Malaya Movement and our upcoming march on June 3rd by signing up here:

If you have questions, ideas or need more information, please contact

For background information on the Malaya Movement, including the history, principles and full list of demands, checkout:

There is much for us to do together as we get ready in the next couple of weeks.  If you or members of your organization would like to support, please email

Please follow and share the campaign on Facebook at:

Malaya Movement

Screen Shot 2018-05-16 at 2.17.28 PM

As Duterte Rises towards Dictatorship, A US Movement Grows

Filipinos and Advocates Announce US Wide Speaking Tour and Caravan for Peace and Justice in the Philippines


From April 20 – May 11, the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines US Chapter and the Malaya Movement will host the Stop the Killings Speaking Tour: The People’s Caravan for Peace and Justice in the Philippines. The tour, which will feature human rights experts and survivors of human rights violations from the Philippines and US-based Filipinos and faith leaders, will span seven major US cities from coast to coast.


“The 14,000 extrajudicial killings in the Philippines continue to climb in number,” said Pam Tau Lee, Chairperson of ICHRP-US. “But beyond the gross number of killings, we see the Filipino people are under attack. Under Martial Law and a heightened crackdown on activists, the basic rights of the people are being thwarted.  As fellow human rights advocates and faith leaders, we are glad to announce a U.S. Wide Tour Speaking Tour and Caravan against the killings and the growing repression in the Philippines.”


Since the Government of the Philippines’ cancellation of peace talks with the National Democratic Front amidst a 50 year civil war, a rising dictatorship has emerged under the regime of Rodrigo Duterte. While the Filipino people have remained steadfast in the struggle for just and lasting peace, upholding demands for the basic social and economic reforms, President Duterte, like his hero Marcos, has paid no heed to the basic rights of the people. In just over a year and a half as President, Duterte has committed 14,000 killings against poor and innocent Filipinos; encouraged soldiers to rape; placed human rights activists, like UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, on a terrorist list; and, he is pushing legislation that would result in the extension of his Presidency beyond the current limitations set by the Philippine constitution.


Alma Trinidad, Co-Convener of Malaya: A US Movement Against Killings and Dictatorship, and for Democracy in the Philippines, stated: “Our Inang Bayan/Motherland, the Philippines, needs our voice and support now more than ever. Duterte is following in the footsteps of the Iron Fist rule of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos.  As Filipinos in the United States, we must take a stand, speak up, and take action now to stop him, his mentality and sense of governance. Oppression there in the motherland is oppression here for us in the U.S.”


While the crisis in the Philippines has worsened, the U.S. has expanded support for the growing fascist regime. Trump has expressed admiration for Duterte and the drug war in the Philippines, and has promise more military AID while secretly beginning a new military endeavor, Operation Pacific Eagle, which creates provisions for endless spending similar to what occurred in Iraq and Afghanistan in the war on terror. Within the past week, the U.S. provided 13.5 million dollars worth of surveillance drones to the Philippine military that continues to commit crimes against human rights defenders.


Set to begin in Washington DC for Ecumenical Advocacy Days, the tour moves on to New York, Chicago, and on to the West Coast. ICHRP-US and the Malaya Movement invite friends of the Filipino people to join the caravan alongside the Stop the Killings tour bus, which has planned  stops in Seattle, Portland, Oakland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.


“As repression in the Philippines grows with the backing of Donald Trump, we call on all people to join the Filipino people in calling for an end to the killings in the Philippines,” said Lee. “We are seeking the broadest possible support and calling on the U.S. Senate to end US military aid to another fascist dictatorship in the Philippines.”


This year’s tour happens in wake of the 2017 Peace Tour, in which ICHRP-US hosted human rights advocates and indigenous people from the Philippines to advocate for the now stalled peace talks. “We remain steady in our call for the peace talks to resume between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and the Philippine government” Alma Trinidad reiterated. “The voices of the people cannot go unheard until there is just and lasting peace in the Philippines.”

Stop the Killings Speaking Tour

Stop the Killings Speaking Tour: The People’s Caravan for Peace & Justice in the Philippines

The human rights crisis in the Philippines continues to worsen under Philippine President Duterte’s regime. While the number of extrajudicial killings rise as innocent poor people and even faith-based leaders become victims to the 14,000 that have already perished in Duterte’s attacks on the Filipino people, we call for the deepest solidarity with the Filipino people and the broadest opposition to stop the killings, end U.S. military aid, and prevent another fascist dictatorship in the Philippines.

This Spring, ICHRP-US & Malaya Movement will be hosting STOP THE KILLINGS SPEAKING TOUR: The People’s Caravan for Peace and Justice in the Philippines. Kicking off with the Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD) and Senate Hearing in Washington DC, the caravan will travel through major cities in the US to bring peace and justice loving community members, faith leaders, government representatives, and solidarity allies the opportunity to bear witness to the testimonies of resource persons from the Philippines who have witnessed the grave human rights abuses in the country.



For inquiries, please send us an email at

Feb 25th-Call to Action on the EDSA Anniversary: Never Again to Dictatorship in the Philippines!


EDSA People Power!

February 25, 2018 marks the 32nd Anniversary of the EDSA People Power movement and the end of  Ferdinand Marcos’ 21 years as president and dictator.

Today, President Rodrigo Duterte has proven himself to be no different from his predecessors and has already exceeded the total number of those killed during his idol Marcos’s term in office.  Duterte’s continued attacks on the people through his bloody drug war, Oplan Kapayapaan, and Martial Law in Mindanao have fueled the fire burning in Filipino people desiring genuine change in the Philippines.  And just as the popular People Power movement took to the streets to remove Marcos and finally end his brutal dictatorship, people are rising up again in the Philippines and abroad against tyranny and violence of the Duterte administration!

We are not alone.

More and more international attention shines the spotlight on Duterte’s ruthless drug war, including the International Criminal Court (ICC) which recently launched a preliminary inquiry into allegations of crimes against humanity committed by Rodrigo Duterte. Though Duterte’s legal team was quick to dismiss the ICC’s examination as a “waste of time,” the more than 14,000 victims, their families and human rights advocates do not.  Duterte has brazenly encouraged these crimes against humanity and more, such as in the recent killings of human rights advocates, religious leaders, Lumad among many others. Just this week, the Armed Forces of the Philippines illegally arrested and detained Jolita Tolino, a volunteer teacher and four community members in  Montevista town, Compostela Valley province who were conducting a youth anti-drug workshop.

Duterte’s maneuvers to impose dictatorship on the Filipino people also extends beyond his deadly crackdown on the streets; he is now seeking to cement his tyrannical rule into the country’s constitution by advancing plans for Charter Change.  Duterte and his followers in Congress are proposing dangerous changes to the Philippine constitution, which would consolidate executive powers, extend terms of elected officials, dissolve congress, exempt lawmakers and administration officials from paying taxes, remove restrictions on 100% foreign ownership of land and strategic enterprises, and water down or entirely delete provisions prohibiting foreign bases, troops, facilities and nuclear weapons in Philippine territory.

We call on all Filipinos and friends across the U.S. to join the international day of action on February 25 to not only commemorate the anniversary, but to continue to build the power of the people seeking freedom from tyranny and dictatorship.  We urge you to join MALAYA: U.S. Movement Against Killings and Dictatorship, and for Democracy in the Philippines.

WE Demand


  • Never Again to Dictatorship in the Philippines!
  • Free All Political Prisoners!
  • STOP the Killings!
  • Lift Martial Law in Mindanao NOW!
  • Stand for Democracy and Genuine Sustainable Development!




  • Hashtags:  #StopTheKillingsPH  #DefendDemocracy  #FightTyranny




  • JOIN or START an ACTION in your area!  Please let us know if you are hosting an action & we can update our website with your details! Email to post your action. Some ideas for actions:


      1. Protest at the Philippine Embassy or your local Philippine Consulate or a community location
      2. Special sermons, prayers of the faithful/general intercessions, and other prayer offerings at church services (note: Feb. 25 is a Sunday)
      3. Banner drops displaying the Day of Action demands or hashtags at prominent locations
      4. Vigil at the Philippine Embassy or your local Philippine Consulate or a community location
      5. No to Cha Cha march and dance flash mob


  • SIGN the PETITION and share it widely!  to garner widespread support and media attention.
  • Produce creative art, posters, infographics, social media memes, songs, and more to inform the public about the human rights situation in the Philippines! Tag @MalayaMovement on Facebook
  • Issue public statements to condemn Duterte’s fascist repression and moves to impose dictatorship including through Charter Change


Visit our Website & Facebook page and share information and on-the ground news updates on the situation in the Philippines.

MALAYA U.S. Movement Launches to Oppose Duterte’s Dictatorship

MALAYA Movement in the U.S. Launches to Oppose Duterte’s Dictatorship

Amidst escalating state-sponsored violence in the Philippines, on February 6, 2018, over 25 concerned community leaders launched the new U.S.-based alliance MALAYA: US Movement Against Killings and Dictatorship and for Democracy in the Philippines.  Coming from all over the U.S. and representing the Filipino community, faith leaders, academics, attorneys, youth leaders, business owners, and human rights advocates, the conveners of MALAYA established the new alliance to express their fullest condemnation of the increasingly fascist administration of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. They also pledged to mobilize more people in the U.S. to stand up for human rights, inviting people to sign MALAYA’s petition as a concrete action the public can take to prevent Duterte from imposing a new dictatorship on the Philippines.

MALAYA–the Filipino word for “free”–also seeks to broaden U.S.-based support for the cause of freedom and democracy in the Philippines. The alliance’s points of unity are:

 STOP the KILLINGS: End Duterte’s war on drugs and on those struggling for change

 LIFT MARTIAL LAW in Mindanao immediately

 SAY NO to ANOTHER FASCIST DICTATORSHIP in the Philippines: stop the abuse of executive power and curtailment of democratic rights and civil liberties


 STAND for DEMOCRACY: pursue political, economic, and social reforms that benefit the majority of ordinary Filipinos and promote genuine sustainable development in the Philippines.

Co-Lead Convener, Dante Simbulan, Ph.D., a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy (1952), turned activist during the Marcos Dictatorship, states:

 “MALAYA was successfully launched in the U.S. last February 6, 2018 with conveners coming from all over the U.S.  (West Coast, Mid-West, East Coast).  This is  a timely response to the escalating social, economic and political crises brought about by the mistakes, ineptness, and crimes of Duterte and his minions in both  the civilian and military bureaucracy.

  Extra-judicial killings (EJKs) or summary executions without due process goes unabated.  The internationally-recognized national human rights organization Karapatan (Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights) continues to receive reports from its offices all over the country of killings perpetrated by the military and the police of Duterte.  Reports from international human rights groups such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have also confirmed the Duterte Administration’s disgraceful number of extrajudicial killings and gross human rights violations.

 Recently, the International Criminal Court, through Special Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda started an investigation of Duterte.  The ICC was established in 2002 as a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, etc.  We welcome this development and view it as recognition by the international community that something must be done to end the impunity which is running rampant under Duterte.”

MALAYA cited a long list of attacks on the rights of the Filipino people under Trump-backed President Rodrigo Duterte, including:

●      over 14,000 people mostly from the ranks of the poor killed under Duterte’s drug war

●      a war on the Moro people, indigenous people, and extended martial law throughout Mindanao

●      politically-motivated killings, arrests and detentions on fabricated charges against opponents critical of Duterte’s policies and cause-oriented groups struggling for reforms, under the guise of counter-insurgency and the war on terror

●      Charter Change to consolidate executive powers, extend terms of elected officials, dissolve congress, exempt lawmakers and administration officials from paying taxes, remove restrictions on 100% foreign ownership of land and strategic enterprises, and remove the ban on foreign bases without Senate concurrence

●      Attacks on press freedom, with administration moves to discredit and shutdown independent media outlets which have questioned Duterte’s actions

 MALAYA also condemned Duterte’s continual violent, misogynistic and demeaning behavior towards women, pointing to the President’s statement earlier this week when he told the Philippine military to shoot female soldiers of the New People’s Army in the genitals.  Dr. Alma Trinidad, Co-Lead Convener of MALAYA and Board President of the Foundation for Philippine Progress remarked:

“The most recent statements by him continue to disrespect women. It encourages government sanctioned processes to commit deep sexual violence during armed conflict and struggle. It is a blatant violation of the dignity and rights of women, and indeed a violation of  international humanitarian law. Parallel to the struggles of women on the west, Pinays continuously being denigrated and seen as less than, we must rise against systemic oppressive forces.”

MALAYA conveners include young people, who express that they embrace the historically important and crucial role that youth play in organizing for genuine democracy in the Philippines. Troy Osaki, MALAYA convener, poet and Anakbayan leader from Seattle, WA states:

“As a young Filipino American, I stand against President Rodrigo Duterte and his anti-people policies.  His U.S. backed regime has proven to target the most marginalized communities of the Philippines while the few in power enjoy impunity and profit off of the Philippine people’s suffering.  I recognize the struggles of youth in the U.S. are connectedto the struggles of youth in the Philippines.  Instead of adequately funding schools, social services, and resources in the U.S. for young people to succeed, federal funds are being sent to the Philippines to support the Philippine National Police targeting poor youth in the “War on Drugs” and the Armed Forces of the Philippines targeting indigenous children in the “War on Terror.”  We face the same enemies and must unite to build a better world and ensure there’s one to leave behind for all youth in the future.”

 MALAYA will hold nationally coordinated actions around the U.S. on February 25 to commemorate the “People Power Anniversary” of 1986, when millions of people poured into the streets of the Philippines to demand an end of the dictatorship of then-President Ferdinand Marcos.  At the same time, the actions will call attention to the new dictatorship currently looming in the Philippines under Duterte.  Along with the International Coalition of Human Rights in Philippines-U.S. (ICHRP-U.S.), MALAYA will also co-sponsor a “Stop the Killings Speaking Tour and Caravan” from April 21- May 11, 2018 featuring speakers from the Philippines who are survivors of human rights violations as well as human rights defenders on the frontlines of the crisis.

MALAYA encourages the community to take action now by signing its petition.  To join the MALAYA Movement, sign up HERE to receive updates. For more information about MALAYA and updates about current developments in the Philippines, please visit @MalayaMovement on Facebook.

Initial Conveners: Professor Dante Simbulan; Professor Alma Trinidad; Bishop Eliezer Pascua; Bishop Raul Tobias; Chera Amlag; Professor Nerissa Balce; Dr. Joi  Barrios; Rev. Dr. Felicisimo Cao; Josephine Calderon; Pastor Jaime Case; Kenneth Crebillo; Aurora Victoria David; Margaret Dominado; Bernadette Ellorin; Kiwi Illafonte; Joelle Lingat; Ramon Mappala; Professor Ligaya McGovern; Troy Osaki, J.D.; Rev. Father Primo Racimo; Roger Rigor; Professor Robyn Rodriguez; Irma Shauf-Bajar; Professor Neferti Tadiar; Father Toting Tronco; Felix Vinluan, Esq.; Johanna Hester.


Stop the Killings and Prevent a New Dictatorship in the Philippines

Join the Movement — Sign our petition on Read our statement and become a MALAYA member.

Screen Shot 2018-02-19 at 3.11.58 PM

LIFT MARTIAL LAW in Mindanao immediately

SAY NO to ANOTHER FASCIST DICTATORSHIP in the Philippines: stop the abuse of executive power and curtailment of democratic rights and civil liberties


STAND for DEMOCRACY: pursue political, economic, and social reforms that benefit the majority of ordinary Filipinos and promote genuine sustainable development in the Philippines.