United People’s State of the Nation Address 2019 Unity Statement

Global SONA FINAL

We, freedom loving Filipino workers, professionals, youth and students, women, people of faith, and many others, are united with the Filipino people around the world in calling for an end to the Duterte regime’s treacherous and tyrannical regime. Our call is clear: Tama na! Sobra na! People Power na!

Having endured the past three years of unrelenting tyranny and plunder, we have had enough and are taking a stand.  Duterte has made a mockery of our democracy, sold out our sovereignty to China and the United States, and has turned the entire country into a graveyard.  His so-called “change” has only brought plunder, more hardship for the average Filipino, and death in our streets, communities, and homes. The Filipino people in the Philippines and all over the world see that it is high time to act.

Enough of Duterte’s mass murder! We charge Duterte with crimes against humanity for the murder of 30,000 Filipinos in his ruthless “war on drugs,” which has only terrorized the most vulnerable in society and has left behind a generation of orphans, while leaving his drug lord cronies at large. It didn’t take long for Duterte to turn the barrel of the gun on human rights defenders, lawyers, and priests who had the audacity to stand up against and criticize his regime. As we mourn the death of the victims of Duterte’s fascist rule, we refuse to be paralyzed into fear or apathy and continue to seek justice for those killed by his murderous regime. 

Enough of Duterte’s reign of terror! In Mindanao, his martial law is running into its second year with no end in sight, trampling on people’s civil rights, displacing close to half a million Moro and Lumad communities. Duterte continues to threaten us with the declaration of nationwide martial law. But we know that there is already virtual martial rule across the Philippines. Under Duterte’s Memorandum 32 and Executive Order 70, he has militarized Bicol, Samar and Negros turning them into killings fields. Those who he can’t silence using bullets, he silences through the filing of trumped-up charges. More than 500 political prisoners now languish in Duterte’s jails. Rather than cower in fear amidst pervasive and institutionalized state violence, we say Makibaka! Huwag matakot!

Enough of Duterte’s anti-poor, anti-worker and anti-Filipino economic policies! Millions of our people have been plunged into crushing poverty under Duterte’s economic policies that only benefits foreign multinational corporations. Duterte’s TRAIN Law, continued contractualization, union busting and low wages increases the burden on working Filipinos while the cost of living and basic goods and services only continues to skyrocket. Despite Duterte’s promise of ending forced migration, his economic policies have only worsened this. 

Enough of Duterte’s treason and puppetry! Duterte promised to pursue an independent foreign policy, but the last three years has shown the complete opposite. He has made clear where his true loyalties lie: not to the constitution nor to the Filipino people, but to foreign superpowers. The Duterte regime has not only allowed China to continue to violate Philippine sovereignty, but even acted as its primary apologist. He has shown that he has no backbone failing to uphold the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration that invalidated China’s claim in the West Philippine Sea. Instead, his regime has fast-tracked the racking up of billions of US dollars in debt to China and gives away our natural resources for dubious infrastructure projects under the banner of the “build, build, build” program, which only serves the Chinese government, further strains the everyday lives of Filipinos, and has displaced indigenous people from their ancestral lands. 

As Duterte allows China’s intrusion in our waters, China has installed military bases on the Spratly Islands and has already conducted missile testing in Philippine waters.  Filipino fishermen have not only lost their livelihoods due to interference from Chinese militia, but 22 Filipino fisherfolk were left for dead when a Chinese vessel sunk their fishing boat in the Recto Bank.  Duterte refused to assert our country’s sovereignty, downplaying it as a mere “accident” and justified these violations in favor of China.

Even with his anti-American posturing, Duterte maintains the lopsided agreements with the United States, retaining U.S. military presence inside Philippine territory through the Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement and receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in US training and arms that flow to his vicious wars against the people. We will not fall for the false dichotomy of choosing between two rivaling superpowers: China and the United States. We will stand to assert our sovereignty and genuine independence.

Finally, despite Duterte’s selling off of the Philippines, his regime still has the audacity to criticize movements from foreign governments as forms of colonial intervention. We support the recent UN Human Rights Council Resolution to investigate Duterte’s crimes and make him accountable for these. We also call on all supporters of peace, justice and human rights to join in genuine acts of solidarity for the sovereignty of the Filipino people amidst globalization. 

Enough of Duterte’s authoritarianism! Duterte has systematically militarized the civilian bureaucracy turning it into a de facto military junta with a third of his cabinet coming from the military totalling close to fifty. Duterte has overreached time and again his powers in the executive branch through the targeting of his political opposition in the judicial and legislative branches including the ouster of Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno.  Many have hoped to maintain at least an independent senate during the midterm elections, but Duterte does not even have the decency to allow the exercise of the democratic will of the people through the conduct of a free and fair elections. Duterte now has full control over the three branches of the government, completely eliminating any institutional checks and balances. We have seen the return of corrupt politicians into power, through Duterte’s alliances with the likes of the Marcoses and Arroyos, as well as the emboldening of political dynasties.  

Now that Duterte’s administration holds a supermajority in both the House and the Senate, he intends to fast track Charter Change, which will solidify his authoritarian rule with provisions such as the elimination of term limits for elected officials and social justice provisions and constitutional basis of the rights of marginalized sectors, as well as open the floodgates to foreign exploitation of our natural resources, one hundred percent ownership of our public utilities, strategic enterprises, media and advertising, and educational institutions.

End Duterte’s dictatorship! As Duterte consolidates his absolute rule, we, the Filipino people, broaden our unity and solidify our ranks. We hereby resolve to unite in calling for a National Day of Protest on July 22 for a United People’s State of the Nation Address across the United States and in solidarity with Filipinos back home and all around the world.

We likewise resolve to unite, moving forward, in the struggle against the Duterte regime and for the defense and advancement of Philippine sovereignty, genuine democracy, human rights, and a just and lasting peace in our motherland.

Signed: (as of July 18, 2019)

Organizations:

  • Anakbayan-USA
  • Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN-USA)
  • Malaya Movement
  • Migrante-USA
  • GABRIELA-USA
  • Kabataan Alliance
  • Pilipino American Unity for Progress (Unipro)
  • Northern California Pilipinx American Student Alliance (NCPASA)
  • International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP-US)
  • U.S. Pinoys for Good Governance (USPGG)
  • Filipino American Human Rights Alliance (FAHRA)

Individuals:

  1. Dr. Alma M.O. Trinidad, PhD, MSW, Professor, National Convenor, Malaya Movement Portland, Oregon
  2. Bernadette Ellorin, Spokesperson, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN-USA), New York, New York
  3. Adrian Bonifacio, Chairperson, Anakbayan-USA, San Jose, California
  4. Kenneth Crebillo, President, Kabataan Alliance, Portland, Oregon
  5. Noel Aglubat, P.E., Chairperson, Pilipino American Unity for Progress (Unipro), New York, New York
  6. Bernadette Herrera, Chairperson, Migrante-USA, Daly City, California
  7. Irma Shauf-Bajar, Chairperson, GABRIELA-USA, Oakland, California
  8. Art Garcia, Coordinator, Filipino American Human Rights Alliance (FAHRA), Los Angeles, California
  9. Rodel Rodis, President, US Pinoys for Good Governance, San Francisco, California
  10. Roger Rigor, Educator, National Convenor, Malaya Movement, Portland, Oregon
  11. Gisselle Tongi-Walters, Actress, National Convenor, Malaya Movement, Los Angeles, California
  12. Nerissa S. Balce, Associate Professor, SUNY Stony Brook, Malaya Movement, Stony Brook, New York
  13. Fr. Toting Tronco, Simbayan Ecumenical Fellowship, National Convenor, Malaya Movement, Orange, California
  14. Joy Barrios, Poet, National Convenor, Malaya Movement, Berkeley, California
  15. Fr. Primo C. Racimo, Vicar, St. Margaret of Scotland Episcopal Church , National Convenor, Malaya Movement, Chicago, Illinois
  16. Luis H. Francia, Poet and Professor, New York, New York
  17. Dr. Dante C. Simbulan, Professor, National Convenor, Malaya Movement, Fairfax, Virginia

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