A petition initiated by the Malaya Movement

Co-sponsored by US Pinoys for Good Governance, BAYAN-USA

We are overseas Filipinos and supporters concerned about the mishandling by the Duterte government of the unfolding COVID-19 crisis in the Philippines.

We call on the Philippine Senate and Philippine House of Representatives to repeal RA 11469 aka Bayanihan To Heal As One Act, disallowing President Duterte from gaining emergency powers in the name of the COVID-19 crisis.  

The Filipino people are facing rising numbers of death and illness caused by COVID-19, which is only exacerbated by extreme poverty, hunger, and lack of adequate access to healthcare in the country. The government-released numbers of COVID-19 cases remain grossly undercounted and unreliable due to the lack of testing throughout the country. Tests have only been administered to a privileged few who can access test kits and healthcare, which the vast majority of our kababayan back home cannot, especially in the rural areas.

Amidst continuing extrajudicial killings, repression, crackdowns on press freedom and civil liberties, Malacañang has taken an unnecessarily militarist response, treating COVID-19 as a law and order issue rather than an urgent health issue. Despite the lack of healthcare equipment and medicine in healthcare facilities all over the country and even in the aftermath of the Taal volcano eruption, the Duterte government has prioritized more funding for tourism rather than disaster and medical relief as reflected in the 2020 national budget.

While it publicly denies its intentions, the Duterte government’s request for emergency powers is a measure towards consolidating and abusing its executive powers. This power grab moves the entire country closer to full-blown dictatorship by way of executive takeover of the private and public sectors, as well as widespread mass containment of the public and denial of the people’s basic rights to assembly and mobility.

Duterte’s de facto martial law policies such as Executive Order 70 and Memorandum Order 32, in the name of combating an insurgency, have resulted in the killings, warrantless arrests, and false charges of government officials, church officials, journalists, lawyers, farmers, workers and other critics of his policies.

But with the growing unrest and clamor for genuine democracy and human rights in the Philippines, coming from both inside and outside the country, the Filipino people will once again prevail over fascism. We are united that the only way to ensure the health and well-being of the Philippines in the short-term is to not allow the more fatal epidemic that is the Duterte government to continue its term as we pave the way for a democratic alternative that responds to the needs of ordinary Filipinos.

Therefore we demand:

  1. REPEAL RA 11469 aka Bayanihan To Heal As One Act. No emergency powers to the Duterte government.
  2. IMMEDIATE REALLOCATION OF FUNDING for healthcare services and equipment for all healthcare facilities in the Philippines, including free mass testing for all parts of the country
  3. END the militarization of Manila and Luzon, and other militarized areas in the Visayas and Mindanao
  4. ENSURE health, safety and economic livelihood for workers—including overseas Filipino workers—and the poor affected by the crisis
  5. STOP the ongoing repression and extrajudicial killings of the rural and urban poor, human rights defenders, and critics of Duterte

Initial Signatories:

  • Dr. Alma M.O Trinidad, professor
  • Loida Nicolas Lewis, Chair, US Pinoys for Good Governance
  • Steven Raga, County Committeeman, New York City Democratic Party
  • Prof. Luis Francia, poet and professor
  • Randy Ribay, National Book Award finalist, Award Winning Author of “Patron Saints of Nothing”
  • Kenneth Crebillio, President, Kabataan Alliance
  • Rhonda Ramiro, Chairperson, Bayan-USA
  • Irma Shauf-Bajar, Chairperson, Gabriela-USA
  • Adrian Bonifacio, Chairperson, Anakbayan-USA
  • Gary Labao, Vice Chairperson, Migrante-USA
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