Duterte’s plummitting approval rate will only get worse as he continues to violently suppress any opposition whether through the drug war, martial law, extrajudicial killings, and illegal arrests. He is following in the steps of Marcos and recently-appointed House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo– these political idols amongst the most violent in all of Philippine history, Duterte included.
Immediately following President Duterte’s State of the Nation Address, where he continued his lies about economic progress and called for an end to corruption, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and other lawmakers ousted then House speaker Alvarez as an act of Duterte to consolidate control and eliminate opposition in Congress.
Soon after this, warrants were released for the arrest of Makabayan leaders on false charges originally put forth during Arroyo’s term as President in 2006. In addition, on July 30, more than 100 Philippine National Police (PNP) and NutriAsia guards violently dispersed the picket-line of 300 striking contractual workers and supporters at the NutriAsia factory in Marilao, Bulacan which resulted in serious injuries and 19 arrests of workers and supporters, including journalists. Duterte’s attacks are a continuation of what Arroyo started during her reign of terror under the discredited counter-insurgency programs Oplan Bantay Laya I and II, targeting the most vocal opposition with violence.
The MALAYA: US Movement Against Killings and Dictatorship and for Democracy in the Philippines condemns Duterte’s fascist and violent attempts to silence his opposition. We stand with Anti-Poverty Commissioner Liza Maza, former Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael “Paeng” Mariano, and former Bayan Muna House Representatives Satur Ocampo and Teddy Casino who are innocent from the false charges and demand that these baseless, politically-motivated charges be dropped. We stand with the striking workers at NutriAsia and across the Philippines who are fighting for living wages and better working conditions, an end to contractualization, and an end to oppressive TRAIN taxes that have inflated the cost of basic necessities beyond the reach of working people. We continue to uphold the freedom of the press and defend journalists who shed light on the ongoing violations of human lives and human rights, because we all know that fake news is perpetuated by Duterte’s control of mainstream media and his online troll army. We enjoin the public to condemn the violent dispersal of the NutriAsia workers strike and the attack on journalists and to #BOYCOTT NutriAsia products. We also call on colleagues in the mainstream media to report on developments on the NutriAsia workers strike and their struggle against contractualization, a most pressing issue faced by Filipino workers under the Duterte government. Malaya means Free in Tagalog, the freedom of the 19 arrested at the NutriAsia strike was due to the national and international pressure, including people’s lawyers and media outlets fighting for the Philippines to truly be free. Join in growing the Malaya Movement!
People’s SONA Unites Filipinos Across the U.S. Against Duterte Dictatorship
President Duterte’s staged, scripted and directed State of the Nation Address–this time by romantic-comedy film director Joyce Bernal–was a predictable sequel to the President’s previous SONAs, stating the same tired lies about an economy on the rise with the success of his Build, Build, Build, infrastructure projects and TRAIN law. These delusions contrast sharply with the daily reality most Filipinos already know and feel: the Philippines is a country in economic and political turmoil. Duterte’s Presidency is wrought with corruption, deception, death and destruction all leading toward a full-fledged dictatorship; all Duterte has left to do is change the Constitution to extend his term, and to impose martial law on the whole country. Across the U.S., Filipinos and all those opposed to the tyranny of the Duterte administration joined together in a historic United People’s SONA responding to the call from the Philippines, many under the banner of the MALAYA Movement: U.S. Movement Against the Killings and Dictatorship, and for Democracy in the Philippines.
Though filled with theatrics, Duterte’s SONA itself was upstaged by yet another forced removal of a political opponent: the ousting of then House Speaker Alvarez and the institution of a new House Speaker, the infamous Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Duterte’s political motives are clear: eradicate the opposition and replace them with like-minded corrupt individuals in order to consolidate his power. It also shows the rottenness of the politicians jocking for power while the nation starves. This in-fighting within the administration is contrast to the unity shown by the various opposition and people’s movements against Duterte’s tyranny.
The unholy alliance of Duterte, Arroyo and Marcos, the three most brutal and corrupt regimes in Philippine history, will only bring the political and economic crisis of the Philippines to an unprecedented level.
“The Philippine remains trapped in dynasties and dictatorship. It is our collective duty to stand for democracy, to stand as one Filipino community, para tayong lahat ay Malaya,” stated Elaine Bernal, a college professor and convenor of the MALAYA Movement, at the Los Angeles People’s Procession for the Poor march.
Duterte’s popularity ratings are sinking with each dictator-like move he makes such as his militarist approach to the drug war, martial law in Mindanao and Oplan Kapayapaan. His machismo-fascist attacks on women and children have launched an international #BabaeAko movement against him. The appointment of Arroyo is another slap in the face to all those Filipinos who experienced her reign of terror under Oplan Bantay Laya I & II, her failed attempt to rid the Philippines of the New People’s Army (NPA) which instead targeted activists, human rights defenders, peasants, and church people. The past sounds all too familiar with the present.
Duterte’s claim to be concerned with “human lives” is quite the opposite and despite the international scrutiny he says that it is “far from over,” and will be “as relentless and chilling, as the day it began.”
“There have been over 20,000 extra-judicial killings in drug war, and other killings of activists, priests, mayors and even loiterers now, and it’s spreading to other parts of Asia in their drug wars too. The fight to save the Philippines is also the frontlines of the fight to save the global system of human rights,” stated David Borden, executive director of StopTheDrugWar.org who attended the protest action in front of the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C.
“Many are Filipino youth being killed in either police operations or by vigilante groups. The children of the Philippines are not spared in this so-called drug war,” said Bea Canete, a Leyte-born youth and member of Kabataan Alliance who attended the New York action in front of the Philippine Consulate.
Economic troubles amongst the majority of people will only increase due to Duterte’s tax reform TRAIN law, which has only increased taxes for the poor, while cutting taxes for corporations, and in effect also raising the prices of basic commodities. In addition, the daily minimum wage remains stagnant, and thousands of layoffs due to ENDO or “End of Contract” have given workers no option but to conduct strikes in NutriAsia, Jollibee, PLDT and Coca-Cola to name a few.
“Duterte promised to end contractualization, but the workers are still being victimized by these practices. In fact DOLE has already ordered to stop contractualization to some companies but it still continues, that’s why workers are on strike,” stated Gary Labao, Chairperson of Migrante New York. “Duterte is not doing anything to protect the overseas Filipino workers. Even in the US Duterte has not done anything for the Filipinos victimized by Trump’s immigration crackdown,” Labao continued. Filipinos, even greencard holders, are not immune to the mistreatment by the border control.
“I am here to also demand justice for Jerome Aba who was a victim of Duterte-Trump collusion to hide and cover up what’s happening in the Philippines. It is our duty here in the U.S. to shed light on the human rights violations in the Philippines that are being paid for by our U.S. tax dollars,” said Pam Tau Lee Chairperson of ICHRP, International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines who attended the action in San Francisco. The U.S. has given more than $137 million in military aid which includes funding for the drug war and increased militarization in the Philippines.
The success of MALAYA Movement’s launch of a United People’s SONA in 8 major cities: New York, Washington D.C., Boston, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles exhibited the growing movement against the fascist Duterte administration in the United States. Let us further strengthen our unity and broaden our movement calling on all Filipinos and allies to direct their energy into cutting the U.S. military aid that funds the drug war and extrajudicial killings and continue to raise awareness against the fascist Duterte administration!
MALAYA will continue to grow as long as Duterte continues down the path towards dictatorship, and we will continue to fight until there is peace, freedom and true democracy in the Philippines.
“We stand in solidarity to call for all of our communities to join together- in the U.S, in the Philippines, to build and most importantly, rebuild our communities for our collective survival,” proclaimed Dr. Anna Guevarra, Board of Directors of CIRCA PINTIG in Chicago.
MALAYA: US Movement Against Killings and Dictatorship and for Democracy in the Philippines. As our name indicates, MALAYA (Filipino for “free”) seeks not only to broaden our opposition from the U.S. to fascism, but also to broaden U.S.-based support for the cause of freedom and democracy in the Philippines. For more information, visit http://www.malayamovement.com. For more photos visit us on Facebook @MalayaMovement
New York City — On July 23, 2018 more than a hundred people led by the Malaya Movement rallied outside the Philippine Consulate General of New York to protest President Rodrigo Duterte’s 3rd State of the Nation Address (SONA). Various individuals and groups, including BAYAN-USA, GABRIELA Philippines, Kabataan Alliance, Migrante USA, New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines, Sige, Ugnayan Youth, and US Pinoys for Good Governance (USPGG) delivered what they called the “People’s State of the Nation Address”, speaking out about the worsening human rights, economic and political crises under Duterte.
“We denounce the atrocities and crimes against humanity that the Philippine government continues to commit against its people. We denounce the continued suffering from the many effects of neocolonialism, globalization, and U.S. and Chinese imperialism,” said Terrenze Rienton, a working class migrant Filipino youth and organizer for Ugnayan Youth.
In a statement read at the gathering, imprisoned Filipina Senator Leila de Lima was quoted saying, “There is now a normalized economy of murder, a prevailing culture of impunity, and truth has become the first major casualty.”
“People are dying upon thousands under the guise of a drug war. Many are Filipino youth being killed in either police operations or by vigilante groups. The children of the Philippines are not spared in this so-called drug war,” said Bea Canete, a Leyte-born youth and member of Kabataan Alliance. Yet, Duterte continued to defend his deadly war on drugs during his 3rd SONA, defying criticism from human rights advocates and the international community.
Gary Labao of Migrante USA Organizing Committee spoke about the impact of Duterte’s tax reform law (TRAIN), “Due to the TRAIN law, people are suffering and being forced deeper into poverty and hunger because it increases the price of basic commodities, while the wages of the workers do not increase.” Despite Duterte’s claims during his SONA that the TRAIN law was helping poor families and seniors, inflation has soared to 5.2%, the highest in over five years.
Labao was also critical of the Philippine President’s neglect of migrants in the U.S., “Duterte has not done anything for Filipinos victimized by Trump’s immigration crackdown,” he continued.
Malaika Queaño, speaking on behalf of the Maranao people, rejected Duterte’s promises in his SONA to bring peace and autonomy in Mindanao and his claims of pursuing an independent foreign policy.
Pointing to the okir panels adorning the exterior of the Philippine Consulate, she asserted, “They would like the decoration of the Moro people, but more importantly they want the land of the Moro people. Just like there’s an economic basis for Martial Law, not only in Marawi, but in Mindanao, there is economic basis for the rehabilitation of Marawi, which has not consulted the Moro and the Maranao people.”
Queaño was referring to the unsolicited plan by a private consortium comprising a Filipino management company and Chinese companies to rehabilitate and develop Marawi City after its devastation last year in the war between the Philippine government and Islamic State-allied militants.
USPGG National Chair, Loida N. Lewis, further criticized Duterte’s capitulation to China, “Look what he has done to our oil and natural gas in the West Philippine Sea. China is almost succeeding in its claim that they own what is rightfully ours! He could possibly be the ultimate drug lord because he has done nothing to stop China from sending its drugs to the Philippines. Look at that drug shipment from China consigned to his son.”
While a handful of pro-Duterte supporters chanted, “We love Martial Law,” community activist and former political prisoner during Ferdinand Marcos’ dictatorship, Ramon Mappala, reminded the crowd that under Martial Law in the Philippines in the 1970s, over 40,000 anti-dictatorship activists – students, professors, professionals, along with members of the Liberal Party – were jailed.
Mappala said, “The same pattern is happening right now in the Philippines, where [Duterte] has already declared Martial Law in Mindanao and threatened to declare it in the whole archipelago.” He also drew comparisons between Marcos and Duterte’s strengthening of the military and police and their violations of human rights, including detaining dissidents on invalid or trumped up charges.
In the Philippines, more than 40,000 people mobilized for the People’s SONA in Manila, and thousands more mobilized in other regions.
“The real People’s State of the Nation are people uniting to resist the Duterte government. We saw the largest and broadest protests in the Philippines in recent years. That’s because – like under the Marcos dictatorship – resistance to fascist moves and struggle for democracy is once again uniting Filipinos from all walks of life, from different backgrounds and political camps,” said Bernadette Ellorin, chairperson of BAYAN USA. “Duterte’s fascism is actually an indicator that the people’s united resistance is effective and gaining ground. Duterte is losing his popularity and is becoming more isolated and more desperate to cling to power.”
“As Filipinos and citizens of the United States, we must build the resistance movement to show that Duterte is not popular anymore. The Filipino people are sick and tired of his lies. It is only through unity as Filipino people abroad that we can resist this dictatorship until its fall,” said Chrissi Fabro, co-coordinator of Malaya Movement in the Northeast, to close out the rally.
Malaya Movement calls on people to continue to unite and strengthen the broadest protest movement against Duterte’s Dictatorship and to pressure the U.S. government to cut its military aid and political support to Duterte’s wars against his people.
On July 23rd, President Duterte plans on celebrating his “accomplishments” at the annual Philippine State of the Nation Address (SONA).
As we know, these will all be part of his trail of lies.
The Filipino people know the truth and will be voicing the People’s Demands:
After 2 years in office, President Duterte has continued his war on drugs, war on the poor, the TRAIN tax law burdening the poor, brutal Martial Law in Mindanao, misogynist attacks on women, subservience to US and China, and neglect of the concerns of overseas Filipinos. Efforts are on the way to change the Philippine Constitution to concentrate powers to Duterte and extend his rule.
We say no to Duterte’s emerging dictatorship! Stop the killings!
We invite the greater community to unite on July 22-23rd to stand up to defend democracy and true freedom in the Philippines.
For more details on the Actions- Click on Link or Flyers attached
The Malaya contingent during the Philippine Independence Day parade at Madison Square Park in New York City on June 3. JADE PALMA GIL
The anti-dictatorship movement in the Filipino American community helped oust Ferdinand Marcos during the 1986 EDSA People Power uprising. That spirit of opposition to repression and injustice didn’t go away after 1986.
When President Rodrigo Duterte launched his War on Drugs in 2016, leaving thousands of mostly poor victims dead, the killings and the administration’s impulse to heavy-handed rule rekindled the spirit of opposition in the Fil-Am community.
With their US taxes used as aid in procuring weapons, intelligence, and the war on drugs, as well as Duterte’s closeness to Trump and China, many community leaders and activists have decided to begin educating the public about a “looming dictatorship” in the Philippines.
Malaya was born
On February 6, 2018 twenty-five community leaders from all over the US, many of them former anti-martial law activists, faith leaders, academics, youths, entrepreneurs, and human rights advocates, launched the US-based alliance MALAYA (free): US Movement Against Killings and Dictatorship and for Democracy in the Philippines to condemn “increasing fascism” under the Duterte administration.
Since then they have been staging protests and campaigns on social media, including the hashtags #Babaeako and #Hindipendence day.
“I joined Malaya and agreed to be a co-lead convener due to the urgent call in organizing ourselves in the U.S. We cannot stay idle,” says Dr. Alma Trinidad. Born in Hawai’i to Filipino immigrants who worked in the sugar and pineapple industries, Trinidad is a professor and social worker who is based in Oregon.
Trinidad’s activism began as a youth, when she observed social problems in Hawai’i like gang violence, drug and alcohol abuse, school drop-outs, teenage pregnancy, poverty, immigration, labor issues, among others.
“(We have a) role as Filipino Americans. We can influence change by engaging internally in our Filipino community, as well as externally, advocating for policies, locally and globally, that meet our needs and advance our voices,” Trinidad believes.
“It is my hope that we continue to popularize our Filipino American history in a given region in the U.S., share with others our family migration stories and analysis of what led to the current conditions and lived experiences, some of which are traumatic, of our families and communities. It is through these means we can find authentic freedom, ways to move towards healing, and advance progress in sustainable and humane ways,” she explains.
Dr. Trinidad calls on to the Filipinos to stand and promote a democracy that benefits the least fortunate and the majority of ordinary Filipinos. She believes that it is unity that will bring promise.
Dark times call for resistance
Chrissi Fabro’s parents disliked activism. Her mother even accused her of being communist-inspired. Nevertheless, Chrissi decided to become an activist in college, where she had learned about the history of Filipino immigration to the US and the reasons why thousands of Filipinos like her parents left their homeland. The New York-born Fabro is a community health worker and the external vice-president of Kabataan Alliance.
Fabro was inspired by the Filipinos’ history of resistance, and the trafficking of Filipino workers in the US moved her to serve the community.
“Even though times are dark in our motherland, there is a rising resistance movement that shines a light of hope for our country and people. Our unity and resistance can and will bring down a dictator as it had done in the past. I wanted to be a part of that and contribute to the fight for freedom and democracy as a US-born Filipino,” Fabro explains.
Activism is a responsibility
Gina Apostol, an award-winning author who started her activism at UP Diliman, is a dual citizen of the Philippines and the U.S. She joined Malaya because she wanted to be in an organized united front.
“The Duterte regime needs a united front to oppose him. I wanted to be with a very organized, united front organization. We need to focus, organization, and unity against this fascist regime. We can’t pretend we can do things on our own.”
Professor Nerissa Balce, was moved by the photographs of the extrajudicial killings, which circulated in social media. Along with the human rights activists, she says that photojournalists are becoming modern day heroes in their covering of Duterte’s brutal war on drugs.
“I believe it is my ethical responsibility, as a Filipina academic and an immigrant, to join a movement to stop the killings and to stand against dictatorship. Any Filipino immigrant, now more than ever, is affected by tyranny or an oppressive government,” she says.
Professor Balce claims that the Filipino American communities are open to the message of organizing against the extrajudicial killings and Duterte’s authoritarianism.
#Babaeako campaign graphic.
“I see this openness when I give my lectures on the photographs of the extrajudicial killings. A lot of young Filipinos, and some older members of the community, are eager to discuss the issues,” she says.
March for human rights
On June 3rd, while the Philippine Consulate in New York was holding a parade in celebration of the 120thIndependence Day of the Philippines, over 400 Malaya members and supporters staged a protest dubbed as the “March for Human Rights and Democracy in the Philippines.”
The celebration was a mix of Duterte and anti-Duterte supporters. There were people dressed as mangoes and bananas; the Batangas group held its banner to show the diversity of the Filipino American community.
Apostol told the group that the Batanguenos are fighters and resisters and were one of the last to surrender to the Americans during the Philippine-American. She encouraged them to join in the fight against Duterte.
“We need to keep fighting against a government that kills its own people. That is part of history, part of our sense of self as makabayang Pilipino. Fight and speak up for those who are dying, who are under the gun, who are dead. It is an unjust regime that makes shoot-to-kill a norm rather than a travesty. It is patriotic to resist it,” Apostol said. “Be on the right side of history! Join us. Join Malaya and our movement against fascism and tyranny in the Philippines. Filipinos in the U.S. have nothing to lose but their apathy.”
On the 120th anniversary of Philippine Independence from Spain on June 12, Malaya Movement joins the Filipino people in saying #HINDIpendence. / No independence. Hindi tayo #Malaya. / We are not free. We call for peace and justice in the Philippines and protest the misogyny, violence, corruption and fascism of Duterte.
In the past two years, the economic and political situation in the Philippines has deteriorated under Duterte’s presidency. The drug war killings, claiming more than 20,000 lives, and the attack on lumad peoples, human rights activists and the media continue. Three Catholic priests have been slain for their service to the poor. The most recent killing of Father Richmond Nilo happened just two days ago on June 10. Duterte’s personal appointees are corrupt and his social media propagandists spin lies and fake news.
Despite claims of a thriving economy, the majority of Filipinos are left in crushing poverty. According to Ibon Foundation, the job crisis has worsened under Duterte where close to 700,000 Filipinos lost their jobs between April 2017 – 2018. This is not including 35,000 from the closure of Boracay this year. The looming jeepney phase-out scheme could wipe out the livelihood of two million families. Now, 56 million Filipinos live on only Php100 per person per day. Duterte has pushed more widespread contractualization of jobs, which further destabilizes the workforce and forces more than 6,000 Filipinos to migrate abroad in search of jobs. Women’s rights groups continue to condemn Duterte’s outright degradation of women. But his sexist language and actions divert the public away from from the real issues of the country.
Duterte is the biggest threat to Philippine independence.
We now have Chinese missile launchers and bomber planes landing in disputed islands in the West Philippines Sea. And despite Duterte cursing against Obama, we still have 3,000 US military troops, mainly US Special Operations Forces, on our land with the US facility now being constructed in Pampanga. Duterte’s idea of an independent foreign policy is to subordinate the interests and welfare of the Filipino people to more foreign powers, particularly China and the United States.
In these dark times, we remember our people’s history of resistance. It was only through organizing and the unified efforts of the Filipino people that we waged an armed revolution against Spain and victoriously claimed our independence. To truly commemorate this day, we Filipinos overseas must continue our fight for genuine independence and democracy. Though we are thousands of miles away, we are part of a growing movement of U.S. based Filipinos and allies calling for peace, justice and genuine democracy for the Philippines. We must build a protest movement to hold Duterte accountable. We also must demand our legislators here to cut U.S. military aid towards the Philippines. We don’t want our hard earned tax dollars are to be used to fund Duterte’s brutal regime which is supported by the Trump administration. On #HINDIndependence Day, we collectively resist the violence and the tyranny of the Duterte regime until the Philippines is truly free.
MALAYA U.S. Movement Against Killings and Dictatorship, and for Democracy in the Philippines, is a U.S. based alliance of Filipino immigrants, Filipino Americans and allies against the Duterte regime and for a just peace and genuine democracy in the Philippines.
New York – Last June 3rd, around 400 joined the “March for Human Rights and Democracy in the Philippines” organized by Malaya Movement, a U.S.-based coalition of individuals and organizations against the killings and dictatorship back in the Philippines. The Malaya Movement called for a Black Sunday Protest to highlight the deteriorating situation back in the Philippines.
While preparing for the march, speakers from Malaya, the New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP) and GABRIELA New York spoke about the various burning issues in the Philippines. Atty. Rodrigo Bacus of NYCHRP talked about the ongoing human rights violations in the Philippines perpetrated by state forces. He also talked about his experiences at the recently concluded International Solidarity Affairs, organized by the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) that exposed the conditions of Hanjin workers in Central Luzon. Zila Renfro of Gabriela New York, on the other hand, slammed Duterte’s misogyny and sexism against women. She condemned state violence as the highest form of violence against women. As a a Black and Filipina woman, she also made the connections with the experiences of African American community of state violence in the hands of the police.
The Malaya Movement contingent, donned in all-black, carried a 21 foot banner that says, “Resist Duterte’s Fascist Dictatorship! Defend Human Rights and Democracy in the Philippines!” The marchers want to raise awareness that the Duterte regime is now a full-blown dictatorship. The contingent also showed a Duterte effigy, with a forked tongue colored in US and Chinese flags, symbolizing Duterte’s puppetry to both countries, dressed in a bloodied barong and a machine gun, symbolizing his brutal rule.
Chants of “No justice, no peace! Stop the killings in the Philippines” and “Makibaka, huwag matakot!” reverberated down Madison Avenue as the contingent joined the Independence Day parade. Crowds of parade viewers cheered and expressed their support. At the Grandstand, the contingent staged a 2 minute die-in symbolizing the more than 20,000, mostly poor, who were killed in Duterte’s drug war.
At the end, the contingent held a rally along 30th street. Speakers took turns in discussing various burning issues. Members of Malaya Movement, prominent writer Gina Apostol, professor Luis Francia, criticized Duterte’s selling out of our sovereignty as well as the ongoing human rights violations. Representative from Kabataan Alliance, Chrissi Fabro, called on the Filipino American youth to join the struggle for human rights and democracy. Eric Lachica of the US Filipinos for Good Governance criticized Duterte’s subservience to China. Gary Labao of Migrante-USA National Organizing Committee expressed the frustration of overseas Filipino workers at Duterte’s broken promises. Anakbayan-USA representative, Joelle Lingat called on the people to work towards Duterte’s ouster while BAYAN-USA chairperson, Berna Ellorin called for greater unity among various Filipino organizations to struggle to hold Duterte accountable. The rally ended with a very moving singing of “Bayan Ko”, a song that became popular as a protest song against the Marcos dictatorship.
(This statement was disseminated at the Philippine Independence Day Parade in New York City on June 3rd, 2018 as part ofMalaya’s March for Human Rights & Democracy in the Philippines march and rally.)
This is our message and appeal to everyone, especially to all patriotic Filipinos, here at the Philippine Independence Day Parade in New York City. In the past two years, the economic and political situation in the Philippines has and continues to deteriorate under president Rodrigo Duterte. He promised heaven for Filipinos, but instead what we got is a hellish war on the poor and a de facto dictatorship. We are holding a “Black Sunday Protest” to symbolize the dark times our motherland is now in, under Duterte. We strongly condemn and reject the brutality, fascism, puppetry and tyranny of Duterte’s regime. We also want to let our kababayans and everyone else know that there’s a growing movement from U.S. based Filipinos and allies calling for peace, justice and genuine democracy for the Philippines.
Many hoped for genuine change as Duterte promised many things: fighting corruption; ending forced migration; and building a peaceful, independent, and prosperous Philippines. Everything turned out to be a lie except his “war on drugs” that is now looking more like Hitler’s holocaust and his own dictatorial ambitions. Under Duterte– same old corruption, different faces. Duterte’s personal appointees— mostly his friends and cronies— are living lavishly off the people’s money: Department of Tourism’s Wanda Teo-Tulfo’s Php 60 million, Solicitor General Jose Calida Php150 million contracts for his private security agency, just to name a few.
Despite claims of a thriving economy, the majority of Filipinos are left in crushing poverty. Close to 400,000 Filipinos lost their jobs in April 2017, including 35,000 from the closure of Boracay alone. This is on top of the looming jeepney phaseout scheme that would wipe out the livelihood oftwo million families. Now, 56 million Filipinos live around Php100 per person per day. Duterte has pushed more widespread contractualization and more than 6,000 Filipinos still migrate abroad in search of jobs.
One of Duterte’s biggest claims is the promotion and assertion of an independent foreign policy. Now we have Chinese missile launchers and bomber planes landing in disputed islands in the West Philippines Sea. And despite all the cursing against Obama, we still have 3,000 US military troops, mainly US Special Operations Forces, on our land with the US facility now being constructed in Pampanga. Instead of an independent foreign policy, we ended up serving two foreign masters, the United States and China.
Even his war on drugs turned out to be fake. 20,000 were murdered in cold blood, including innocent youth like Kian Delos Santos, Carl Arnaiz and many others. Duterte’s war on drugs is targeting everyone except the actual drug lords like Kerwin Espinosa, Peter Lim, Peter Co, even his own son and former Vice Mayor of Davao, Paulo Duterte.
Duterte’s thirst for blood extends towards the opposition and all who criticize his policies– 141 activists, mostly peasant leaders, indigenous rights activists, trade unionists, youth and even church people, including Fr. Tito Paez and the most recent case of Fr. Mark Ventura. 543 political prisoners, including labor organizer Maoj Maga, activist Ferdinand Castillo, Opposition Leila De Lima and many others. He has unleashed an all out war against suspected communists.
Despite this gloomy picture, the people are fighting back. Last February, thousands of students staged a nationwide walk out to protest Duterte’s tyrannical rule. Last May 1st, 150,000 workers took to the streets to hold Duterte accountable. Today, hundreds have joined our march to say enough is enough!
Even though we are thousands of miles away, we have a lot to contribute to the struggle. First, we must build a broad protest movement here in the United States against the Duterte regime, just like the days of loud protest from the US against the Marcos dictatorship which contributed to its toppling. Second, we must demand our legislators here to cut the U.S. military aid towards the Philippines, our hard earned tax dollars that are being used to fund Duterte’s brutal regime which is supported by the Trump administration. We call on all patriotic Filipinos and allies to join the struggle for justice, human rights and genuine democracy in the Philippines.
This coming July 23, Monday, we shall come together again and hold a People’s State of the Nation Address to counter Duterte’s 3rd State of the Nation Address and expose the real state of the nation. This is for Kian Delos Santos, for Fr. Mark Ventura, for the countless others who have fallen victim under this murderous, fascist regime.
Makibaka! Huwag matakot! (Dare to struggle! Don’t be afraid!) Dismantle Duterte’s fascist dictatorship! The people, united, will never be defeated!
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 rallywill 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 3rdMarch for Human Rights and Democracy in the Philippines, please sign up as an endorsing organization here:
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 https://malayamovement.com and sign the MALAYA petition.